The Farm in Cornwall circa 1972
When we had a holiday we always went to Cornwall in the South West of the UK. My dad hated the drive, in fact he made us leave London at 3 am to avoid the traffic.
Cornwall is one of the wildest and visually romantic areas of England, we don’t have the mountains of Scotland and Wales but we do have the windswept, moors leading down to a wild (for us) and stormy sea.
On the second night we were at the cottage I went into the bathroom and saw my dad’s shaving razor sitting on the sink. I have no idea why but I picked it up and shaved the hair off my shins and from under my arms.
I know that a lot of women do this, but my only two female role models – mum and nan – had never shaved a whisker in their lives, in fact it came as a complete shock to them that I felt the need to do something so totally crazy. All I can tell you is that it felt wrong to me to have that body hair. It just didn’t feel like me.
Obviously I took very little notice of this at the time, the only memory that impacts is my mum buying me some cheap razors to stop me blunting dad’s razor blades. Why is it that women’s hair blunts razor blades faster than the male beard? One of life’s unknown imponderables I guess.
From that day onwards to this day 43 years later I still shave my shins and armpits, and it feels completely right to me to do so.
The other day the memory popped into my mind and as I was pondering links started forming to the philosophy I embrace – that we have all been here before and are spirit having a human existence.
Although it may sound like a very small thing, hardly worthy of an article, it struck me how important it was that something culturally foreign to me felt so completely natural and right. So what prompted the sudden decision?
I could only come up with one explanation. That I had, at another time, lived in a culture where shaving body hair was normal practice.
I don’t know what you make of this, but in the search for spirituality and spiritual connections it’s good to look at the person you are and ask how much of you comes from the people and influences around you? Are you entirely a product of your past and your gene pool, or is there an aspect of you that, like me, has emerged fully formed apparently all by itself?
It makes for interesting musing in the search for the meaning of life and existence, even if it is generated by the hair on your legs.
Or is that spirituality from the armpit?