Thanksgiving, 2014 Henna came into my life. The ladies were sitting around the fire, sated from a fabulous meal and comforted with some very good Napa wine. My friend’s 13 year old daughter made the suggestion for henna painting on our hands. Eagerly and without a moment’s hesitation I volunteered. As the teen held my arm in place, conversation flowed and a design flowered on my skin. For several hours more, we sat and chatted as our hearts and hands were transformed.

I was reminded that for over 5,000 years, the people of Africa, Middle East and India have practiced the beautiful and mysterious art of painting on the body with preparations using the henna plant. It’s used to also dye skin, hair and fingernails, fabrics including silk, wool and leather. The name used in other skin and hair dyes, such as black henna and neutral henna, are not derived from the henna plant.

This artform is sometimes referred to as Mehndi, in India. Henna tattoos are non-permanent dying or staining on the top layer of skin using a henna paste product, the process is called Mehndi. The tattoos are generally an intricate design and brown in color. They will fade in time, about 2-4 weeks.

They are a reminder of how quickly our lives can be transformed and how soon beauty does fade.


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