Living Color

Annah ElizabethLeave a Comment

Pink is my favorite color. When I wear pink, I feel feminine. I feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Needless to say, last Monday provided a good day to break out the pink hat, gloves, and scarf. I donned them over my pink blouse with white lace. The blushes looked fabulous against a pair of dark denim jeans. What can I say? Though I’m not afraid of hard work and soiling my hands, I love being a girl. Not that men can’t wear pink—why, some of the most heart-stopping males are those who know they look good in pink. But, that’s “a whole ‘nother conversation,” as a friend of mine would say.

As I was walking with friends on Valentine’s Day—enjoying a much needed day of warmer weather—the subject of color began. One of the girls sported a new grape-colored winter coat, and a pair of mittens to match. “I’ve been craving purple!,” she exclaimed with delight. “Sometimes in the winter, when I’m craving green, I eat spinach!”

“I hang yellow towels in my bathroom in late winter.” I added.

“Sure you do, ‘cause yellow is the color of cheer, ” the third walker chimed in. She knows my appreciation for yellow hasn’t always been there. I disliked the color until I had to write about it in a creative writing class we audited. I now embrace everything yellow. Wilson Leather makes a fantastic tote that comes in an array of colors. When our local Sam’s sold them last year, I anguished over which bag to choose: a Pale Pink, a Rich Teal, or a Sunshine Yellow. Oh, decisions…decisions… I settled on the teal.

But, guess what? The store began selling them, again, recently, and then I found my membership was offering a discount! Once again, I found myself deliberating in front of the display: Pale Pink or Sunshine Yellow. What can I say? It’s February. As I stood contemplating about the pink or the yellow tote, the yellow popped, but the pink…ahhhh…sweet, sweet…blissful…pastel pink… I felt soft and soothed…

When I heard my hubby talking with a buddy about shopping for a Valentine’s gift, I informed him his work was done. The red roses he brought home were a beautiful addition to my day!

Someone I know is having a difficult time with one of her teenage sons right now. Last week was especially hard for her. I thought about her shortly after my walk. My mind wandered to how we don’t seem to notice color when we are having difficult times. Maybe that is why we call tough times dark times. Maybe it’s not so much that we don’t see the color, but that we don’t absorb it, our souls don’t soak it up. And, maybe it’s that, in steeling ourselves against hurt and pain, we harden ourselves so much that the color can’t seep in.

One day my sister was trying to force herself to go to the gym. “I really don’t want to go,” she said, “but I guess when we least feel like it is when we need it the most.” So, so sage. Those words have entered my mind numerous times in the years since she spoke them. And they can apply to every aspect of our lives, from our eating habits to exercise to taking time out to relax…

In that context, when we find ourselves talking about darkness in our lives, when chipper and happy and soothing seem to be so remote or so annoying to us, maybe then is when we need color the most. Darkness is the time to throw open the shades and live in color. Bathe ourselves in shades and hues that penetrate suffering’s shell.

I keep color all around my house, even in the shower. I stock up during Bath & Body Works’ sales and keep two or three different body washes in the shower. Each morning I contemplate what I need for the day. Do I want to pamper myself with the romantic, rosy scent of PS I love You? A refreshing, clean-scented Dancing Waters? Or do I want a calming Vanilla Sugar? During Holiday months, I keep theme-colored napkins on my counter. You can do this without breaking the bank; just stop by the clearance aisle of any store, or pop into a Dollar Store right after any holiday to pick up even better bargains. I place any of the leftovers into a quart baggie and generally have a two year supply!

I put out touches of holiday hues throughout my home, too. Right now, a simple strand of red, heart garland drapes over a doorway, and two pink pillows adorn a settee in the foyer. I use theme-colored dishtowels in the kitchen, and have a small selection of throw pillows I rotate in and out for different times of year. The color is always changing; the objects grabbing my attention and frequently drawing a smile. I can’t wait to break out the brightly striped towels I use during Easter’s month. They are so cheerful after a Northeast winter!

Four years ago my profession required I leave for work before the first light of dawn. A night owl by nature, I dreaded each morning. But one day, about a year into the job, as I looked into my mirror, I noticed the reds and oranges that painted the sky. Big, bathing brushstrokes seemed to shimmer as the sun rose over the hills. Life’s vitality surrounded me. It energized me. It changed my outlook on that day. And on many days since.

The expression, “In living color,” arose with the invention of color television. Color breathed a new energy to the images playing out on the screen. In that regard, I’d have to say the world is one enormous Plasma Screen. When the color fades from our life, it’s time for a repair… Sometimes the energy can be restored with minor adjustments, and sometimes a major overhaul is needed…

Hmmmm… Life. In living color… Sounds a bit dreamy…

How about you? Have you ever thought about color? What effect does it—or the lack of it—have on your life? Does color energize you? Breathe vitality into your day?

Until next time, may you find shades of joy in each day…


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