It has been a week of clumsily wrangling table cloths and bedsheets over my flowering peach and nectarine trees in a futile attempt to save them from freezing into fruitlessness. It has been a week of hunching over an old kerosene heater at midnight in the greenhouse trying to coax some robust heat out of it to keep the seedlings from certain, cold death. It has been a week of washing poop out of underpants with a toddler who has no interest in potty training. It’s been a week without a single order for soap and all the questions that can kindle.
It has also been bright.
Mr. Mango, our beloved parakeet, has begun making word-like utterances, much to my over-the-top delight. Tobias has learned how to grin mischievously. My daughter comes home from her long bus commute with a handful of poems she writes on the way; often springing from topics she’s learned about that day in history class. Sunflowers, dahlias, and coxcombs are coming up in the seed trays, lifting their leafy hands up to the sun. My boule bread has been turning out quite good, and we’ve cut down on our food bill via creative means. My bees are still alive.
My daughter was asking me about hair dye. She wanted to know why I rarely use it (I highlighted my hair in Chile, oh, six years ago or so). I fanned out a handful of my hair in my hands. “Look at all the colors. Browns, blonde strands, copper. Yes, gray too. I don’t want to miss this, from bright to dark, even the grays.”
It may not be a fashionable look; I may look older than I otherwise would, but I find some delight in looking my age, my thirty-six years of life under the sun. I make no argument against dyeing of hair; just saying that I like to watch the march of time of browns and blonds and grays, right on my own head. I don’t want to miss what the transition between youth and middle age looks like; I do not want to look perpetually young in anything but my childlike delight in life. I welcome my years; would that I could kiss God’s feet in gratitude for all they’ve held.
As regards these days of both trials and blessings, I feel the same. It is me, yes, bent over the toilet, swishing feces out of underpants for the third time in one day. It’s me! It’s also me that gets to hold my dear son, all cleaned up, and teach him the names of colors, and hear him mispronounce them, and smile all the way out to my ears.
I’ll take these days, these bright ones, and grays too, with great gratitude from a full heart, for God has dealt kindly with me.