This morning I got my hair cut. I don’t usually like getting my hair cut. I never know if I’ll recognize myself afterwards. I also never have this wellness feeling that people describe. To me it always feels like an appointment. Except for today. I had recently discovered a small hairstylist just around the corner from my place. It’s called ‘the hair garden’. That in itself sounds magical already. But it also looks that way: Simple, yet elegant. Playful, yet peaceful. A small arrangement of delicate flowers in the window. A little oasis of slow.
So today I went there and as soon as I sat down I felt at peace. There was a soft stream of Snatam Kaur singing in the background. A light spring breeze from the open door that lead straight to a little bench, positioned in front of the store, shaded by a tree. When I leaned back to get my hair washed and looked up I was greeted by a little angel with a harp, slightly swinging left and right from a tiny hook in the ceiling. I’m not usually a fan of angel sculptures but I did like this one. It just looked so friendly and well-meaning.
I told the hair stylist how I liked my hair done. And that I planned on going out this evening. So, if she could please cut it so that it looked like, well, not fresh from the hairdresser? More, ahem, organic? I’ll do my best, she says. And for some reason I trusted her. So much so that I even closed my eyes when she started cutting and kept them closed throughout. And not just because it was the safest way to protect my eyes from falling hair. I could have dozed off. Maybe I even did…
She cut it perfectly, just as expected. When I paid I was surprised by how cheap the cut was, less than half of what I usually pay, for twice the quality. We parted our ways, not without me telling her how much I adored her little oasis. She was visibly pleased and, with a knowing sigh, said that she would not have it any other way. She’d worked in other places but could not stand them. The way she’d arranged her own studio was the only way she could deal with daily routine.
I left, feeling unusually peaceful and relaxed. I even stopped at a small cute café right opposite my place where they sell wonderful homemade cake and lemonade, and decided to indulge some more. It’s only then that by looking into my wallet I realized that I had forgotten to tip her. So while my iced latte and apricot crumble were being prepared I strolled back to do just that.
I saw her from far away. She was sitting on that little bench, having a piece of cake herself. Looking all peaceful and content. And I thought: I want that, too. A job that allows me to have moments of deep peace while I’m at it. A fulfilling occupation that does not deny me the simple pleasures of life. Like a little break when I feel like it. A peaceful place in the sunshine. A timely time-out. A little oasis of slow.
I’m so tired of this hustle and bustle, the huffing and puffing, the restlessness of the life I used to live before it forced me take a step back and evaluate. I want to try something new. I want to live a slow life. I want to actually experience time as it goes by. Not just wonder where the hell it went while I was busy doing whatever hectic thing I was doing.
I still don’t know what this could look like. But her way of doing it gave me new hope that there always is a way to do it. Even in the middle of the hustle and bustle of a huge city. Even when everybody else’s way seems to tell you that it’s just the way it is. I’m starting to think it does not have to be this way. Not if we choose otherwise.
I. Want. To. Slow. Down.
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