A few months back, I wrote a cranky blog (not posted) about our culture's obsession with hair and how it grated on me, being hairless. Also bald. Like an opossum without the tail. My crankiness extended to one of my favorite trash past-times, going on Pinterest after dinner. I admit to following Kate Middleton religiously, instead of, say, reading Karl Barth; there's something about her genuine happiness, stunning beauty, and stylish outfits that I found very cheering.
But alongside the cheery images were photos of women's hair--special oils to rub in to increase production; nifty little "do's" with complicated knots behind; and robust auburn ponytails cascading down someone's back. I found all of it rather depressing and had a tendency to take it personally.
However. Now that my chemo is finished (thank you, God), I have a small, subtle haze of hair growing on my head, rather like a new lawn just daring to show above the soil. I zip into our bathrooms at odd intervals so I can peer at myself in the mirror and make sure the fuzz hasn't disappeared when I wasn't looking. I have also taken to smoothing down the "hair" the way I stroke a cat or a short-haired dog with its summer cut. Even my husband comes in for this as I ask him to pat my head. "Silky, definitely silky," he pronounced this morning. I like that. I aspire to silky.
I extend heart-felt sympathy to anyone going through chemo who has lost their hair; it looms large for women in particular. But it is so enlivening to be on the other side of treatment and to marvel at the rejuvenation at work on my head. I might have to sing a phrase from the "Hallelujah Chorus" to encourage those follicles, in case they are contemplating a summer's nap or taking up meditation instead of growing