Gray hair

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Can you see them? 

I have no idea how I missed this many for this long. They shine best in the light let in by my sunroof, which I've only begun opening recently. Maybe that's how. I never had quite the right light.

At first, I thought they were blonde. I kept looking and peering and brushing my hair this way and that. Finally, I plucked a couple. 

Nope. Not blonde.  

Gray. Gray hairs clustered right where my bangs start. 

I was inexplicably thrilled. It felt like something new and exciting. My body is long past important transitions. New phases that showed up one day unannounced. Pregnancy and birth and breastfeeding seemed like unchartered territory for years with all manner of experiences to add to my story. Now that that phase of my life has come to an end, my body seemed like an old friend who's every trick I already knew.

And then these gray hairs - which judging by their length have been around for a while - showed up and I remembered there's this whole other journey I get to take. 

And - despite everything - I am excited. 

For one thing, so many never get to walk this road. I've buried friends at every stage of my life from a friend in elementary school who was hit by a car while selling Girl Scout cookies to my beloved friend who died before her baby's first birthday. 

I thought of that friend immediately as I held that course gray hair in my hand. I thought of an alternative reality where we would have discussed going gray and whether or not we were going to color our hair.  

Aging in her absence always feels like the most bittersweet blessing. 

Plus, I've felt recently like my life is changing - transitioning. My kids are getting bigger and more independent. With the election and the growing success of Pantsuit Politics, I feel bigger and more independent in my own way as well.

 It feels right that my body would mark that transition.

It feels good to look in the mirror and realize my finite trips around the sun continue in big ways that are hard to wrap my head around and in small ways that sprout out of my very head itself.