silver or gray

May Day! No, I am not in distress. I found some grays, or maybe they are silvers…I’m not sure. I read somewhere that what we call “gray hair” appears to come in shades from salt and pepper, silver, muted white, icy white, pewter and even sterling silver. I rarely look in the mirror, but happened to catch a glimpse in the mirror of a glistening strand or two today, somehow highlighted by the eastern morning light of an open doorway and the cloudy, rainy day sky. I must be one of those few that I know over the age of 55 who is not already mostly gray, and I have not dyed my hair for a number of years now. I used to dye my hair every color from the blondest blonde I had as a fourteen-year old to a the red that almost matched the color that my two red-headed children sported.

 I remember my dark chestnut brown-haired sister, and the other with her raven-blue tresses, both with just the right amount of curl and body. Of course, the one with the most curl had me ironing her locks because she wanted hers straight.

My hair was bone straight, blonde and wispy fine. I grew up hearing the “dirty dishwater blonde” description of my hair so often that I wanted anything but that color when I found out you could actually dye your hair a different color. I remember my grandmother turning the utility sink a dark red with the secret henna she applied every so often.  I have never been brave enough to try henna.

I have been dying my hair off and on since I was about 14-years old, trying to remove that dishwater from my hair. I have one child who now bears that burden of that hair color and a couple of redheaded children. I have heard so many people say their colors need to be put in a box. Well…I flirted with the reds every now and then, and actually found one I liked a lot, but in order to keep that lovely color, I had to dye my hair much more often than I liked…and I had to avoid the chlorinated water.

I decided I would rather be cool in the summer than beautiful, but on occasion, I entertain the thought with a laugh. I don’t dye my hair anymore, but the chlorine and sunlight does still lighten my mousy brown hair somewhat.

Having caught that strand or two in the mirror started me thinking about how I will look, as a silver-haired woman at seventy or so, a mere 15 years from now (DID I JUST SAY THAT?!!), I took a look back at a few photos I happened to have on the computer and decided to share them with this post. I include a scan of a drawing I keep on my refrigerator. My daughter, who is now in her twenties, made the drawing when she was about 6. According to the drawing, I had red hair at that time. I noticed that my hair changed color a few times in her drawings; she was a good observer.


What’s with a few grays…or glistening silvers, as I might call them? I suppose it would matter if I had some man fawn over me occasionally, but I doubt I have turned a head in quite a while. I’m sure it really wouldn’t matter to someone who might wish to count the freckles on my nose instead of the not-so-tame silvery threads that now frame my face.

I look forward to the natural changes that life brings as I notice the  appearance of the person in the mirror.

Now I can only hope to grow older gracefully.

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