It will be past Christmas day by the time you are reading this but that is when I am writing it. It is Christmas night to be exact and I am thinking of you each who have been journeying with me here and I want to tell you the blessing you are to me and how thankful I am for you. So I thought maybe we could go for a walk? We could start by following the deer tracks down the lane?
It began snowing here in the foothills of the Cascades, a few days ago, and has been either snowing or misting ice off and on since with spurts of crisp and bright calm in between.
The transformation from a burning wild fires summer to fog laden fall to a now icy winter has been deeply felt on many levels. We’ve begun a new chapter in our life. Most women (and some men) will understand that this has naturally lead to a multitude of changes: everything from cutting my hair about fifteen inches shorter to a full blown daily routines reformation.
Sometimes when I reflect on it all I think to myself, “How could it not?”. We’re always looking for outlets to express outwardly our inner world. Did I really just tell you that one of mine is cutting my hair? Well, there it is, _keeping it real_ I suppose.
As I grabbed my scissors recently—I knew exactly what I was doing (well, in the expressing department, maybe not the cutting so much). Such a large amount of our old life had gone, so in my mind the hair needed to go as well.
At first, I asked Jay to trim about six inches off for me then a few weeks later I went to the salon and tried again. It was a good cut, but it didn’t express this new chapter, so I went back and my stylist took off even more and then some more…until, I finally was too embarrassed to call her up again and I just did it myself. I had the flu and I just. needed. it. gone.
But why am I writing about this? It’s like there’s something about hair and our soul that seems to be intimately connected?? Ha. It isn’t just me and a few of my girlfriends is it? Is this true for men too? I am not accustomed to asking such questions of men so if any of the men here would like to inform me I’m all ears.
All I know—fifteen or so inches later—in the same way I have needed to slowly make this change with my hair, I’ve also been slowly processing this move and radical shift in life we’ve made, far from family, friends, and known/expected seasonal patterns. I like the shift, no, I love the shift—but shift it remains, movement, relocation, swift change.
Sometimes in the midst of such swiftness, time is needed for thoughts to break away for awhile. As Christmas neared, school break began, Jay came home from work for some vacation time, and the snow began to fall, thoughts came flooding in. It felt excessive (in the amount of time it took) and challenging—because it’s easier to push away thoughts or simply let thoughts float away when you are busy and running at full speed.
But then when everything slowed, and there was no need to push or float, but rather there was all of a sudden time to let my mind wander a little while I folded the laundry (instead of consider the next math lesson) and sit with questions and concerns that had been hanging out on the back burner as of late (instead of give the next spelling word), there I was—full of thoughts.
From back burner to front-and-center a choice was in front of me; let the thoughts come, work through them, pray honestly about them or let something else fill the space, again.
Sometimes, at times like these, it’s easy to get stuck there and don’t even get me started when a bad hair day get’s thrown in on top of it, the emotions get involved and oi, yikes…someone tell me to go for a walk already!
Yeah, walks are good. A safe space to face the hard questions and thoughts that get easily shelved on the fuller days.
Playing in the snow is good.
Fresh air is good.
Somewhere through the maze of iced and snowy tangled branches, thoughts untangle. Somewhere in the midst of icy rushing waters, warmth rushes in and the circulation between head and heart start smoothly flowing again. Oh the warmth.
What a subtle work. Seems like we could miss it just walking along, except that’s just its gift, the way Mercy leads and teaches us when we least expect or deserve it.
Somewhere between watching and laughing over the young ones struggle up a steep hill, laughter makes room to see with greater faith again…even that hair will have better days again, and that we’ll figure out the seasons and the changes and the distance.
All will be well as the strength travels up our legs and looses our voice to give words to prayer. Prayer that sounds like, “Tell me the truth about…”. We may start out a little blurry, but one step at a time, we’ll get greater clarity on what the fears and worries of this life are really inviting us towards.
We’ll meet the risky decisions on the path and remember the brilliance we found on the other side of past rambles through the woods.
Even my awkward hair days will find it’s way again, reborn. I’ll go back to the salon and we’ll laugh together at my own struggle up this steep hill, laughter will make room for me to see with greater faith again…about so much more than hair! Because I had help along the way.
Because if skipping a stone can make us laugh and holler as we skip it across water, our own little pebbles of seeming insignificance can make their own ripples in this world and we can celebrate the little things, as we watch the bigger things come back in view. Then we’ll “…leap over the mountains and bound over the hills…” with the beloved of our souls.
I know as we walk in His world through the tyranny of the urgent or tangled woods of what if’s, as we drink in His living water, we’ll hear His voice call, “Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away…”.
Writing here is often like going for walk for me, how can I thank you enough for walking with me? So many of you prayed me through a difficult time of illness this past year and listened to my sleepy thoughts as I dreamed of and reached for home. You stuck around while I was sleeping, you left me words of encouragement and camaraderie that bolstered me onward, you let me share the poems, songs, and prayers in my heart in a safe place. You kept walking with me, even when I was silent.
You looked at my pictures that I found while searching for truth and art in the honest daily. You read my words while I learned about the gift of need, humility, mercy, and the beauty of simply being. Quote of the year:
“Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy.” -Abraham Joshua Heschel
You all shared my book as it spread to bookstores and larger online retailers for the first time in 2017. You were a companion to me when we moved our family more than two thousand miles across the country, and made it feel a little less lonely and a whole lot more beautiful. Thank you.
I am so very grateful to get to learn out loud and with you here. I love our walks together. You’re even read this knowing I was going to talk about my hair?? Friends indeed. So Merry Christmas from my family and I and Happy New Year. Thanks for going on one last walk with me this year. I am so excited to see what the adventures of 2018 will hold, what beauty we will find, and to travel with you all, further on.
By the way, what have you noticed that you do outwardly that expresses your inner world? Any others here moonlight as occasional hairstylists?
Hi, I’m Raynna Myers. I’m an author, occasional hairstylist, photographer, homeschooling mom to six children and wife to an artist. This is where I share the journey.
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Find my book of prayers Pray, Like a Woman in Labor on Amazon.