I noticed it for the first time as I was brushing my hair last night–a single strand of hair that caught the light in an unusual way.
I paused, separating the hair from the strands around it, wrapping it around my finger so I could examine it more closely. Yep. A course thread of silvery white, an almost translucent absence of color, thicker, stronger, more substantial than its sister strands. A quick fingertip search revealed three more of its kind.
I was almost giddy with excitement.
That may sound strange in our youth-obsessed culture, but it’s true. I’ve EARNED these gray hairs, darn it! I have grown since my twenties, stretched and strengthened and hardened in a healthy way, the way muscles respond to rigorous exercise. I don’t get any pleasure from being mistaken for anything less than my thirty-six years. My twenties were pretty good, as twenties go, but I don’t want to go back there. I’m happy with where I am now, and committed to continue growing and maturing.
Proverbs 16 says that gray hair is a crown of glory, and I feel like having the first few strands of silver placed on your head is a reason to celebrate. It’s a landmark on the journey of life, like loosing your baby teeth, or getting your first period, or watching a web of pale pink stretch marks emerge across your soft post-partum tummy.
It may seem silly, and you can laugh at me if you want, but I think my new gray hairs are Absolutely. Awesome.
For the record, I think yours are too. Gray hairs mean you’ve lived a little, and maybe learned something in the process. Gray hairs means you’ve persevered.
The novelty will wear off soon enough, and excitement over a few gray hairs will mellow into acceptance of a new norm, but for now, I’m going to enjoy my silver strands. The asinine standards of a youth-obsessed culture are not going to steal my excitement or my joy. I am THRILLED that I am at a point in my life where I am getting gray hair, and even though I did nothing to contribute to this natural phenomenon, I am going to wear it as a badge of honor.