I’ve been to this Indonesian salon a dozen times and I can never remember which versions of brown and lighter brown to pick. Do I even have time for this?
Will the phone technician pick this two-hour period to stop by my house to finally fix things? Will Renea stay asleep for her nap and Evan stay content with the sitter the whole time?
The owner stops her own hair treatment—her roots slathered in color—to gather the girls around me. They chatter while they pull out strands to color them. Gossip about a wedding and a woman with twins swirl around me in Indonesian.
I avoid my reflection in the mirror, content to trust the women to finally cover the gray that has snuck into my soul that still feels like an awkward teenager. I pull open the silver-rimmed pages and set them on my lap.
The words speak of water for the thirsty, rest for the weary. I disappear into the hope even as the world around me tugs and stares. The scent of chemicals stings my eyes. I breathe past the world. The verses’ purity fills me.
Rest is rare in this life of a mom living out of her element on the other side of the world from familiar life. But true rest happens as I read. The words tell me I can come with nothing and receive abundance.
I can die and live forever.
The waiting starts as the women pull away to finish other tasks, my hair crinkled in foil. I sit in the relative silence, listening, the truth sinking into the graying parts of my heart.
Finally, the rinse, then the drying. The woman fluffs and combs and makes me feel look like a movie star—free from frizz and age.
And the old words make me new again. I step out into the day’s heat, ready.
photo credit, SSDG Interiors