This morning as I was putting on my makeup after my shower, I perused the face in the mirror. The skin always has quite an afterglow after I run. I was, however, looking for other, more sinister things. I was looking for hair…and not the kind that grows from the top of your head either. No I was looking for the hair that creeps out of odd crevices on the face. Aging is a funny thing. One day I woke up and had a long white hair growing out of my chin. So I plucked it. This thing grows back though so I am always on the hunt to see if this hair has yet again slipped from the fertile ground of my chin and begun to sprout anew.
A few years back I had gift certificate to go and get a manicure / pedicure. I was sitting there in total bliss when I was informed that I had facial hair and would I like it removed. Facial hair? Where? She raised the magnified glass to my face (who invented this thing anyway?) and proceeded to show me facial hair on the sides of my mouth that now appeared to be the size of tree trunks because they had been magnified 200 times. Oh, yes! Get rid of it, I responded immediately.
That was the only time I ever had my face waxed. My moment of sheer panic that not only did I sound like Chewbacca from Star Wars when I sang, now I was starting to look like him!
Of course, now the hair that comes in on the side of mouth…a bit more noticeable. That’s what can happen when you wax I was to discover. So as I perused the face in the mirror I thought, hmmm, I resemble a Sensai with the white mustache framing the mouth and three strands of white hair braided at the base of the chin that falls about three feet in length. Not quite the look I am going for. The tweezers come out and I make short work of that.
I don’t know what happens to the body as it hits fifty, but it’s as if it just succumbs to the laws of gravity. I got out of bed one morning looked in the mirror, and the body groaned. The butt sighed into saggy remission, the tummy relaxed and the boobs had a race to see which one could touch my belly button first. Even my kneecaps looked to have hoods on them. In a way it is as though the skin has become too big.
During my run this morning I was thinking about the jiggle factor. I looked up at the trees around me and said “Don’t laugh! I can’t help it if I look like a bowl of Jello running down the street.” They smiled back but said nothing. And I looked at these beautiful sentinels in all their majesty and asked what their secret was. “How”, I queried, “do you keep so firm yet your branches are so graceful? ” The just laughed at me. And I smiled. I guess if I had to stand around all day and provide beautiful, sweet air for minions such as myself, then I should at least be able to remain firm doing so.
I think of the trees up in the Carmanah Valley on Vancouver Island. The giant Sitka Spruce trees, some of them 1,500 – 2,000 years in age, they are magnificent and magical in oh so many ways. There is a life force so strong in this place. We sometimes forget that the trees and rocks and soil beneath our feet are living entities. But they are. And while I was running amongst them this morning it dawned on me that they have and will never know the freedom of movement. The only sense of movement they experience is the wind that rustles through their foliage. And just a month ago, their branches were still barren, for the indigenous variety at least, and now they have once again been adorned with rich and beautiful attire in vibrant shades of green.
I take one last look in the mirror, yes, I guess this will have to do. I have plucked and tucked as much as I can this day. And I bow to the trees before me, the Sun and the Moon, to the sky in its beautiful expanse, to the clouds and to the earth beneath my feet. I am one with all that is around me.
Enjoy your day everyone!