Long Strands of Red Hair

Art by Sister Genemarie Beegan
Art by Sister Genemarie Beegan
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By Cynthia Sartor, Companion in Mercy

My friend Roberta told me that when she was a child, she and her family lived on a farm in Central Indiana near a woods and creek. She said that in the spring time her mother would ask Roberta and her two sisters to go out into the yard to brush and comb their long red hair. When summer ended, and the occasional empty bird nests fell from the trees, they would find woven into the nests strands of red hair holding the twigs and leaves and bits of nothing altogether.

I wonder how many of us have been long red strands of hair that have held together another’s soul. I know that in my soul-nest there are many strands of hair holding everything together. Woven within the daily routine of sound and noise, busyness and rest, are the words and kindnesses of others holding me tightly. My neighbor’s friendly hello this morning, the last book I read, a call from my cousin who just wanted to say hello, all these are red strands of hair woven tightly around the twigs and leaves of my daily life.

I know that after hearing Roberta’s story, I will never look at a bird’s nest the same way again. It will always remind me of the many little things that hold us together.