Monday, August 23, 2010

Put Me in Pigtails

"We need more girls who know how to braid."  A few words of encouragement to a younger one who was practicing close to us had started me thinking about it.  The S curve: snake in the grass, cutting turns in powder, riding waves, half of infinity... I examined myself in the mirror for quite some time before I finally decided to make the part and put myself in pigtails, for what I think must be the first time since I was a young girl.  It reminded me that I used to braid quite a bit, for a while, and rather well--yarns and strings, lines and locks, mine and others.  I'd forgotten the pleasure of it, the twist and pull of different directions drawn together into a single trajectory, snugly wound yet loosely hanging, separate yet inseparable, if only temporarily.  I remember also, fondly and clearly, a lovely braid in particular which I wove of a friend's long tresses while we waited for a wedding on the June grass, his red and white gingham shirt, the two lines meeting and becoming one...A sweet afternoon.  So was today's, in the way that can sometimes happen when one drops in, unexpected.  I was in the neighborhood, and wanting an opinion about the new look, and hoping for a swim, and thinking of borrowing a few things, not really knowing who if anyone might be home...Why not just stop by?  And with that one move--or perhaps two, with the pigtails--the whole course of the day took a decidedly happy turn: hours spent gabbing; an hour of half-skinny dipping in the warm and cooling waters of the Saint Croix as the sun sank over the ridge, passing yellow to orange; yummy bites on the patio, before heading back; more talk and a sofa each; then home to bed...and now I'm up too late again, I see, but it's good to be here, good to wear braids, good to have a little sister... Good night.

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