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A Cause for Long Hair

June 24, 2011
Sketch of long hair

© Dana Aubrey, Sketchbook

My eight-year-old niece was born with the wisdom and wit of a 90-year-old. I’ve filed her in my family cabinet under ‘an old soul’. Like a whirling tornado she cuts a fearless path through her life, sucking up every detail, decisively bypassing what she deems as nonsense. Once in a while she’ll stop and stay still long enough to enlighten us with her perspective before she is off in a whirl again. If you blink you might miss it. Her conclusions are often so creative you can’t help but laugh your ass off in response. When she was nearing her forth birthday I asked her a stupid question: “When are you turning four?” She furrowed her eyebrows and let out an impatient sigh before she replied: “when I’m done being three.” Of course! Silly aunt, what was I thinking?

Children have the innate ability to see the white of what is, and the black of what is not, the foggy gray matter in between being destined for the adult years. But this kid, out of all of my nieces and nephews, has been busy creating her own special brand of Zen and the Art of Living. Aside from being a total ham, an acrobat, a dare devil, and a scene-stealer, she also has the capacity to be unselfish and compassionate. When the veterinary hospital near her house needed funding she started saving her money. When she reached a pint size fortune of $175.00 she walked in and donated it to them.

It had been a few months since I’d seen my niece, which is the equivalent of three years in kid years. I noticed she suddenly had uncharacteristically long hair. It was beautiful. This is a girl who loves her feathers and frills but when it comes to her head of matted curls she is wholly practical. She likes to keep it short. I too have let my hair grow very long as of late. The reason for my lengthy locks is in part out of laziness, and in part out of protest to the exorbitant cost of women’s haircuts. When I commented on how much I liked her long hair I got another pragmatic response. She said “I am growing it down to here (indicating her waist) and then I’m cutting it all off to donate to cancer.” No one had encouraged my niece to do this. It is the typical way in which she opens her heart – not through hugs or I love yous but through action. You see her grandmother is fighting cancer right now and has lost all her hair. It was instinct for her to balance out the murky black outlook with some iridescent white. Her mission was not to beautify herself but to help beautify another.

Enchanted by her Repunzel-esque spirit I have decided to join her in this quest. The minimum length required is ten to twelve inches, and it must be unprocessed. Luckily part of my protest about the cost of haircuts included the cost of coloring. So my hair should qualify. When it reaches the required length I plan to join my wise, young niece in her cause. It is my hope that together our threadlike growth can be woven into another families beautiful quilt.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Marina permalink
    June 24, 2011 10:57 am

    Well captured, Well expressed, Love it.

  2. Marina permalink
    June 24, 2011 10:58 am

    Dear sis: I enthralled keep it coming!

  3. June 25, 2011 9:15 pm

    What a beautiful gift! We do need to cultivate listening to the young “old” souls in our lives. Great niece, great post. …and love that hair sketch with this post.

    • June 27, 2011 8:39 am

      Thank you Leslie!
      So true…the young “old” souls truly have so much that is worth listening to! Wish we did not so easily forgot the lessons of our youth.

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