Burning My Dreads: The Final Goodbye
I assumed when I cut my dreads I would still have to let them go afterward. I pictured myself spending time reflecting on them as I burned them or buried them. I pictured it being ceremonious and personal and meaningful.
Yup, not so much.
From the moment I turned around from checking out my bald head in the reflection of the truck’s window and saw my pile of dreads laying on the ground, I’ve had no attachment to them.
They felt so distant, like looking at a relic of my past…once a part of me, now just a detail in my story.
Maybe it’s because it wasn’t the dreads that I had so much gratitude for, but the experience of them.
Or maybe once I do take the next step it’s when I feel ready to truly let go of the last.
Or maybe cutting them off cut that tie to the heavy energy they were carrying for me.
I don’t know.
All I know is that my dreads have been wrapped up in one of my favorite white scarves and I’d like my scarf back now!
We spent last week camping with such gorgeous, soulful, conscious friends and I thought maybe it’d be meaningful (and in good company) to release them then, around the fire or in the lake.
So I grabbed a couple and threw them in the water and laughed at the idea of someone’s dog finding them.
Then I grabbed a small handful of my dreadlocks to burn in the fire.
(I thought about burning them all, but wasn’t sure just how much hair smelled when being burned, so I opted against stinking everyone out just yet.)
And there I stood.
Standing under the full moon, twisting five dreads around each other and waiting in front of the heat of the flames, waiting for some sense of ceremony or rush of emotion or depth of experience to come to me.
And it didn’t.
So I smiled and gave my heart a hug for its powerful ability to release without doubt or second-guessing or need for fanfare and I tossed them in and watched them sizzle and burn (and yes, human hair smells badly when burned).
I had 40 dreads to begin with.
Two went to a soul sister, two to the lake and five to the fire. 31 are still occupying one of my favorite scarves and waiting to be sent off.
I’ve been thinking how I’d like to finally release the rest and the fire still calls to me. But maybe this time I’ll go it alone and see if they have any last words of wisdom to whisper to me in the stillness. And maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll just get on with the freedom and laughter I’ve been enjoying instead.