gray hair and aging at nautilus teachings


“hey, sher,
your hair is getting gray…”
says my handsome d
with that grin of his
upon his sun tanned face..
i have noticed this slight change occurring
and with each new one i see
i smile,
‘i get to age.
i get to grow older.
i get to live.’
my 55th birthday
is next may…
THE birthday
THE one
my mother and grandmother’s last
upon this earth…
so, yes
i am freaking out a tad
have been for years
but each time it creeps into my head
i distract myself
with painting or writing
once in a while i let it
slam me to the bottom
drag me across the
sharp fire coral
and i weep…
the sun is glistening
i am on my way to
my wonder woman
hair stylist Jen
as i sit down
i ask her,
“i am getting gray roots finally,
what do i do?”
she looks around my head
and says,
‘well, they are mostly in the back
the front hasn’t caught up yet,
so i will just go a bit lighter on your roots
and when the gray comes in
it will shimmer like silver confetti
and be beautiful…’
my mind shifts to a head
of all sparkling gray strands.
when i was young
and stopped breathing
i floated above my body
and i saw an old woman
with long gray hair
in a flannel nightgown…

soon i was back in my 5 year old self
filled with the belief
i will be old when i die…
aging for me
is a gift,
i am grateful for
every day i wake up
am healthy
can teach
life is short.
this i know.
i stopped getting pedicures
2 years ago-
something i do regret
because the bottom of my feet
are calloused, peeling
and down right ugly.
when d asks me,
‘sweetheart, want to go get a pedicure?’
i always reply with a quick….
‘NO, thank you, though…’
i stopped because my toenails are ugly
they hurt when someone touches them
and i just don’t want to be one of
those old people always
going to doctors…
every time i talk to my dad
i get a list of appointments he has
for the coming month.
i am hoping my life
when i am in my 80’s is centered around
beach time,
walk time,
gym time
painting and writing
still teaching
anything but doctors!
which brings me back to my graying hair.
i have been waiting for this
wanting and wishing for this
because then i don’t have to
go every 6 weeks to get
my hair done!
don’t get me wrong,
i love my getting
‘my hair did’
but enough already!

my hair is thinning
but it still grows
i tried the short look
but it was too much work
always having to cut it
and fuss with it,
so i am back to long…
what is it about women
and our hair?
even d stresses about
his ‘lack of hair’
in his mid 60’s…
i like his hair
i like his aging
his ability to show
65 is the new 45!
but even he
wants to get hair implants…
remember the implants of old?
where you would meet a guy
and he’d have the huge black dots
all over his head,
he would be smiling at you
and you’d be like,
‘uh, uh, there ain’t no way
i’m talking to that crazy man…’
some of us get to age,
actually more and more of us do
because we take such good care of ourselves
but aging can be a B…..
do you notice the sore joints?
the thickening middle?
the need for more sleep?
i do…
all of it!
but when it comes to my hair
i embrace it.
i want to be gray,
i want to be
helen mirren
she is gorgeous-
no botox
says the word
we all need someone to look up to
and for me
she is it!
for now, i will settle for my
glittery gray strands
highlighting my
thinning blonde hair
for now i will
use the utility knife to saw off the
crusty edges of my gnarly heels
and rub them in good with vaseline
and wear socks at night
for now i will just breathe in
the truth
i am aging as gracefully as i can
and for that
i am thankful…