The Beard

The Beard

I decided this year to grow a beard. It turns out that it is not that difficult a thing to accomplish, no pushing outward of hair or fighting off of beard thieves.  One simply puts down the razor for a time and, like magic, hair will begin to sprout like corn looking for the sun. My face has been kept smooth for years, except a brief time in my twenties when hillbilly met beatnik and a goatee was born. So, as I expected, some met this new growth with apprehension while others simply looked away as if I had some leftover gravy smeared on my chin that they were afraid to tell me about. At any rate, the beard started to grow more and then I noticed something strange going on. By some cruel twist of fate, scattered throughout the black landscape that should be uninterrupted on my profile, gray hair had infiltrated.img_2245

I am not generally a vain man. Simplicity has been my calling card for years.  So I am not overly concerned with this sprinkling of antiquity that has reared itself on me. It did, however, strike me as an odd thing to show up on a face as young as mine. Then I considered my actual age, in contrast with my mental one which is still somewhere climbing trees, and I thought maybe it was time for this. I have entered into what they call the middle age of life, which seems presumptuous to me since we don’t know when the end will be. I guess it had to come if I kept waking but I really didn’t see it getting here. My children are getting older and more independent, which also happened very quickly considering twenty years ago I would have told you that I would not ever be a father. My wife has gotten more beautiful as we go which baffles me as I am falling apart. No matter how I would like to stop things for a while I have learned that change must come. I have also tried to begin to accept this as part of our journey and embrace it. Then I can just sit back and enjoy this ride that is life.img_2247

I think I will let the beard grow for a season. It’s cold outside at work in the winter and I think maybe the new hair will actually be functional. I have also found that for some reason the natural growth that I have let happen in some way angers some people so the contrarian in me says to resist any urge to shave.  I will not add any color to my new look as I believe that the gray hair gives the illusion of wisdom to those who don’t know me (would you that do know me not spill the beans please). I think that it is good for the soul to stir things up sometimes, even something as simple as adding facial hair. In the end, no matter how gray our hair gets or how many strange new hairs we find (could be another post on that one) we are still only as old as we think we are. Now, if I could only remember how old I actually am.

 

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