I arrive early for my appointment. While I wait, I flip through hair-do magazines and listen to the lady in the nearest chair as she converses with Sheri, our hairdresser. "Did I tell you about my granddaughter? She's in Thailand, working on an elephant reserve."
Sheri's questions keep the conversation about elephant girl going even as she snips, finger-measures, snips, finger-measures.
Meanwhile the lady in chair two who has been blow drying her own hair stands up, signifying she's done. "You like it?" she asks Sheri, tossing and flipping her variegated blond mane to view it in the mirror.
"It's nice, very nice!" says Sheri, leaving her station for the cashier desk.
On her way out of the shop, Sheri engulfs blond mane in a big hug. "You read your Bible," I hear her say. I can't help but think this is a carryover from an earlier conversation.
She returns to customer one and blow-dries the woman's auburn hair into a fashionable backsweep as they kibbutz back and forth. When she's done, customer one also gets a Sheri-hug before going out the door.
I've always come here before when there were few other customers around and thought of Sheri as my own little hairdresser find. (The first time I came, she told me, "Jesus came to me in a vision. It was when I was still in the old country." She's from Iran.) Today I see that all her clients love her as much as I do.
Now she puts on music before she calls me to the sink. Last time I came a Maranatha singers-type rendition of worship music from the 70s was playing. Today she chooses something instrumental and soothing.
I show her the magazine photo of the style I've chosen. "Do you think I should?" I ask.
"Of course! Change is good. You'll regret it if you don't."
We're just the two of us in the shop now and we talk about life, church, Jesus. She even says yes to my hesitant request to help sell the lavender sachets I've brought with me — our women's group fundraiser to help the facially mutilated women of northern Uganda pay for reconstructive surgery.
Once my hair is done, she asks about my eyebrows - as always (I think she has an eyebrow fetish). I give her the go-ahead. This time she doesn't use only the thread that drapes around her neck and over her shoulders like tangled dental floss, but also grabs tweezers. After a few minutes of efficient threading and plucking by her, agony for me, she hands me the mirror. Two perfect little wings now sit where my shaggy nondescript brows used to be.
Before I leave I get my own Sheri hug. As I step from the mauve-walled room into the winter afternoon's gathering dusk, I say a little prayer of thanks for her. For I know that the warmth and light that emanate from Sheri's little shop aren't powered by electricity alone.
306. Big juicy navel oranges.
307. Blooming heather
308. Pussy willows.
309. The smell of new-worked earth. (Never mind that it might still snow, someone got the jump on spring and did a little digging in one of the plots I pass.)
310. Talking to three beautiful people on Skype.
311. How work gets done and things get stroked off my list when I focus.
312. Crunchy penut butter.
313. My Canada, where we do have our political tiffs, but nothing like what we've seen on the news from around the world in the last several weeks.
315. A wonderful man and best friend with whom to celebrate Valentine's day!
On, In and Around Mondays (which partly means you can post any day and still add a link) is an invitation to write from where you are. Tell what is on, in, around (over, under, near, by…) you. Feel free to write any which way… compose a tight poem or just ramble for a few paragraphs. But we should feel a sense of place. Click on the button below to find other On, In and Around Monday posts, or enter your own.