21 May 2015

Grandfather's Gray

Returning from a five day trip out of town with my dear wife last night, I was trimming my beard and mustache this morning. Quite a bit of hair can grow in five days, making a trimmed beard look unkempt.

Earlier this year I noticed something that really put my age in perspective. I spotted a couple of hairs growing out of my left ear. Nothing signals old age like hairs sprouting of your ears. Yet another reminder of my short and limited time walking this plain in the material paradigm. I am in my 40th year and I am amazed I've lasted this long. The gray hairs on the sides of my head in my late 20's was quite a shock. Now seeing them throughout my beard isn't that big of a deal.

I remember seeing these same old-age ear hairs and gray hairs on my grandfather as a child. He'd make me take a mid-afternoon nap with him. I hated it. To pacify my restlessness, he'd let me play with his ears. He would still manage to fall asleep after that ordeal. But he wasn't that much asleep, for the times I would try to sneak off the bed he'd wake up. It was a way to give my grandmother a rest. It's forced moments like those that afforded me the opportunity to look at him closely. The size of his nose. His little ears. The way his mustache was always trimmed. He shaved every morning. His face was always clean and without stubble. He was both a military man and police officer.

The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old.
- Proverbs 20: 29

Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.
- Proverbs 16: 31

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