I am now about a month into the cultivation of something new for me- a beard. (No the photograph above is not of me.)
It is not much of a thing really- I do not have the nerve to go all ZZ Top. And it is decidedly grey or ‘silver’ as I like to call it.
But it is my own.
Changing your appearance like this after 44 years of a smooth hairless jawline is quite disturbing- but in a good way I think. It kind of marks another one of those life transitions, the passing of young man into- well slightly less young man. Oh all right- middle aged man.
There, I said it.
And it is really not so bad. Sure, I have a bad back, knees that sound like a bag of bones as I climb stairs, tennis elbows and the odd wrinkle or two, but today I spent a day with my lovely family- cutting grass, making bread, stacking logs and dodging showers. A day framed by rainbows and towering clouds, all the more lovely for a sense of something precious- the drawing towards the end of summer. Days shorter, but still lovely. Evenings requiring the lighting of a fire, but perhaps the central heating can wait a while longer.
Michaela is ambivalent about the beard- she has always said she hates them, but I think she secretly likes mine.
Or perhaps it is just that she too feels the change in the seasons.