Monday, December 21, 2009

The Gauva Tree Barber

Snip, snip, snip. The gentle clipping of my next door neighbor's scissors nip across hair, trimming the dead ends. Wielding her silver shears, Lydia cuts away more than hair. Her smile easily spreads across her face during her hilarious reminiscences and tales, disappearing just quickly as her clients sigh and complains about their workdays.

As a mother of four and wife of a missionary, this American is so much more than a housewife in Africa. Sitting under that guava tree, her missionary customers unwind from their stressful missions work for a few moments. Tension and trauma blow away with the gentle sea breeze as Lydia runs her fingers through their tresses, empathizing with everything they say. No judgment is offered, merely sympathy and light-hearted anecdotes for distraction.

She finishes, shaking their hair off a sheet. Sighing, they stand up from the wooden stool with lighter heads and hearts.