Liking the Grayheads

My view of the hairdresser’s drape after a recent haircut. As usual, I’m surprised by just how much gray is mixed in with the brown.

Is it only because I’m older myself that old people look more interesting to me now, and young people less so?

haircut before travel
the snipped ends saltier
than expected

My husband the gray-beard … and the most interesting person I know.

I see the character in old faces, and in the choices of dress and hair. Here wild frizzy silver locks, there a neat smooth steel-colored pageboy. Here a white mustache, there a gray stubble.

In comparison, young people with their mid-length waves, their backpacks and baseball caps, can blur together. Or could it be that I’m just not paying attention?

But when I was a teenager, it was the other way around, wasn’t it? Back then, other people past a certain age blended into grownups, not interesting unless they broke the boundary and tried to talk to me.

Even then, in many cases, I’m afraid that I couldn’t be interested.

I said she said
a walk through old growth
with eyes cast down

Second Grade

This second grader found all ages interesting, and she’s still alive inside me. All I need to do is look again through her eyes.

Surely, after all these years, I can do better than that. Under these gray hairs, I want to be looking out into the world with anticipation and a smile.

O Holy One, give me eyes to find You
in the next face, smooth or wrinkled,

Ears to hear Love’s truth
in the next voice, 
old or young,
remembering that Love is born wise. 

And may blessings pour down
on all travelers in space and time.

sending out my best regards,

About Margaret D. McGee


  1. Brad Offutt says:

    Margaret, since I am way ahead of you in both years and white hair, I especially love this validation of continually becoming as we grow. I share your perceptions too – so often now I’ll see a much younger person and think that she/he simply is, well, so unfinished. Like one of Sandy’s paintings when she has done the under-painting and only just finished adding the basic values. I can only guess what that painting will become, or how that young person will gain depth and contrast through maturing. And then too, my old Grandpa Breuer used to say, “Youth is so often wasted on young people…”

  2. Brad Offutt says:

    Margaret, I guess you’ve got something there! My own age is often wasted on me, because I ignore what years of experience is telling me or fail to heed my age-informed “blink” reactions. BUT – maybe the age of others is not wasted on us gray-heads. I get so much from contemporaries and from those yet older than I. In addition, like many gray-heads, I don’t “feel” old at all!