It is the Vernal Equinox, arguably my favorite day of the year. There is something so pleasing to the human about symmetry, whether it be in physical structures or a person’s face. Symmetry is something we have evolved to find pleasing. So I understand my, and well, every human that existed before man-made religion, fascination with the equinoxes. A time when the daylight matches the night. 12 hours of sunlight, 12 hours of night.
It is no wonder that this time was when humans celebrated rebirth, resurrection, and new life. After a winter of grey scenery and flavorless food the season bursts forth with color and flavor. Trees seemingly dead and lifeless start budding with new life, animals crawl out of their burrows and nests squinting in the brightness of a new world.
Man is no different, but we have lost our connection to the seasons. Sure we recognize that seasons changing, we love the change of weather, we love warm weather, but we often do it from the windows of our office, smile, and go back to work.
But as some of you know, I often breathe to the rhythm of a more primal world. Not sure if it is a literal connection due to my possession of Neanderthal DNA, as exhibited by the extra metatarsals that violently forced their way into my already crowded foot during puberty that caused severe pain. A bone most people have lost through years of evolution, but for a few pockets of humans still containing that ancient DNA it makes itself painfully known.
I am not sure when, or how it started, but I began living by the equinoxes, noting on the Autumnal Equinox the weather will begin to change and it is time to prepare for winter. I would gain a few pounds, grow my thick beard, and let my hair grow as wild as the primal spirit caged in my contemporary cage. There was something that began to happen, I would watch my being change as the weeks went by, feel my hair blow in the wind, catch itself in my eyes as I squinted across a grey landscape. My beard would protect me from snow, oftentimes getting a layer of frozen ice from my hot breath collecting on my beard and freezing, never feeling a nip on my neck or face. Warm in the iciest winds, the winter could not reach me with its cold tendrils.
Soon the days grow longer, we begin to feel a stir in our gut, somewhere deep we know that the season is changing, days become longer, pushing the darkness back. Then, on a specific day, the seasons change, the day and night are equal in length, night is no longer winning, for this day it is a tie, and then light begins to take over, like a distance runner finally making his move he kicks forward and slowly pulls away.
It is this day that all the follicular growth I let grow wild comes off, a cathartic experience I don’t take lightly. I do not remember the last time I got my haircut by someone other than me. Because for me, the cutting of the hair is a spiritual experience. This time I spent time sharpening a machete. I was going to make my ceremonious first cuts with it. Trying to reach further back into my DNA I wanted to extend the experience. So I sat there sharpening my blade and began to contemplate on the history in my hair.
Soon I was cutting my hair, sitting outside, by myself, I cut my hair, and as I watched it fall around me I began to think.
This hair saw arguments.
This hair saw miles of running.
This hair saw love.
This hair so pain.
This hair saw pleasure.
This hair saw countless performances on multiple stages.
This hair saw me lose 20 pounds.
This hair saw me rescue a small cat named Elroy.
This hair watched me take an unorganized group of girls and turn them into a soccer team.
This hair saw countless hours in front of students.
And this hair saw me propose my undying love to Aqila.
And now it was gone, no longer attached to me, fallen to the ground. It made me think that our past is just that, our past. Our hair carries our history, physically it can tell a trained person exactly what you have been exposed to chemically. But for me, I saw all those memories, the good and the bad, I saw those memories fall to the ground, shedding myself of the anxiety, the stress, the past, and feeling a fresh, clean slate of a scalp. A seeded landscape about to grow into an unknown future.
I began thinking of what the future will bring, what will I be thinking about exactly one year from today, sitting, watching my hair and memories fall to the ground around me.
I will cut my hair on and off through the summer as it stays warm and I try to stay cool, but on September 22nd, the Autumnal Equinox, I will begin the cycle again, and on that day, the foundation of my next follicular cycle, I will take the biggest step of my life and marry Aqila.