In my late fifties, I discovered that I had naturally curly hair. Prior to that discovery, I wore my hair very short and would become frustrated with the little ends that would stick up and be uncooperative in keeping my hair looking in place. There was very little chance that I would discover the curls that were lurking in the background, just waiting to be released into the world.
When I moved to my last full time appointment, I had a hard time finding a hairdresser who cut my hair the way I liked to wear it, so I “went on strike” and just let it grow. The longer it was untouched by a scissors, the more it began to curl. Eventually, I found a hairdresser whose own head of hair was even curlier than mine, and she was able to cut it so that it was not quite so unruly and still longer than I used to wear it.
My hair dryer kept it from being frizzy and gave it a softer, light curls look – at least until the humidity changed the curls minds, and they started having a party on my head. I really didn’t mind in the long run, but I still made sure I used the hair dryer to “straighten” my hair after washing it.
Recently, we moved after a year at our apartment, which meant packing everything up again and then trying to find the boxes that held the most needed items as soon as we moved into our new apartment. One of the “missing boxes” (yes, we did mark them with the room where they were supposed to go) contained my hair dryer. For about a week, I would wash my hair and let it dry naturally – what an interesting conversation that produced between me and my curls.
They were set free to be frizzy, especially since we had some pretty muggy weather, and I believed they thanked me for the reprieve from relaxing so they could spring to life. Finally, as my husband and I were setting up our study, the box with the hair dryer appeared, and I felt like I was in control again – well, a little, anyway.
This made me reflect, as it so often does, on how lost we become when we are sidetracked by life. It is so easy to become caught up in the little annoyances, small irritations, and not-so-important challenges that we miss the big picture. In the midst of our unpacking, my husband and I have had the opportunity to spend more time together and be reminded of how much we enjoy each other’s company.
And, we are appreciating our move (in spite of the boxes and missing hair dryer) because our new apartment is a larger, newer, brighter, and in a less congested location. In addition, we have a small wet lands that we can see from our windows, and at night we are serenaded by a bass chorus of bull frogs who sing to us all night long. We have already seen a blue heron land there, turtles swim across the little pond, red-winged blackbirds nesting and singing, and a variety of other life in what looks like a dead pond. It is far from dead. I look forward to the peepers in the spring – they bring a whole new type of music to my ears, and I love hearing them sing.
So, finding my hair dryer, even though my curls may not be happy (they will still have their way eventually!) helps me to remember that, even though there are times when we feel lost, God is still with us in all of life’s circumstances. Eventually, we emerge from whatever it is that keeps us from seeing God’s presence, and we can trust that eventually, things will be better. Go ahead and have the party, notice the life around you, reconnect with loved ones, and try something new – it may be even better than the way things are now. Blessings!