Beauty of Change
The beauty of change is it’s contribution to growth, wisdom, and understanding. In the past year I’ve experienced major changes in location and employment. And now I begin a new change. Sometime in 2011, I decided that as a practicing Buddhist, I needed to make a vow. People who become nuns or monks make many vows including celibacy. On certain days or during retreats lay people also make vows. The only vow I had made in my life, and kept, was that in marriage to my husband. So, one day I decided that I will vow not to cut my hair. It was a vow I never fully maintained, because I made excuses for trimming the front for bangs.
But, in the heat of last summer, one thought repeatedly arose in my mind, like a mantra, I want to cut my hair. I resisted the thought because of my vow. A month ago, I was asked to keep my hair up for my new position. When I did the weight of my wrapped hair hurt my head. I took it down and looked at it in the mirror and was amazed to see that it extended beyond my waist. Finally, last week, I decided it was time to release myself from this vow I’ve never really kept, one that is more vanity than spiritual advancement. And as I am writing haikus about the ultimate wonder, it is time I begin to practice letting go of things I cannot take with me after my last breath. Even though I cut off 69 locks, I felt compelled to keep 15 at the nape of my neck. They are the longest, and braid into a neat queue in the center of my back. Most of us are familiar with the Chinese queue. In some cases part of the hair was cut very short, in others it was simply a long braid worn in the back. But the On-line Free Dictionary says the “French queue appeared in 1748 in English, referring to a plait of hair hanging down the back of the neck. For a short time British soldiers and sailors also wore queues.” In addition, queues were worn by Native American men and also black men in the early days of slavery.
So, now I begin a new hairstyle, as a woman, wearing a locked hair queue. My head feels light and free. As my husband pointed out, this was a good time to cut my hair, in a sense I resurrected my head in the spirit of the Easter season.