I love coloring. I don’t exactly even know why, I just do. Maybe it’s something of nostalgia, whispering of times remembered---lying in the light streaming through the "skylight" of our sun-dappled yard, as I filled the spaces between my Rainbow Brite’s cosmic costume and the background of flowers and sky—all with a brilliant kaleidoscope of color. I even remember the smell of the freshly mown grass, the musky scent of the morning’s dew still clinging to my shoeless feet, and my mama’s towering tulip trees, just shady enough to create momentary reprieves from the sun’s welcomed embrace.
My sisters and I would spend hours in Susan Miller’s garden, pretending and dreaming up what our lives would be, and what we wanted to be when we grew up. I, of course, would be Rainbow Brite, naturally. I don’t remember what Meredith and Britainy aspired to exactly, but I am sure it was just….amazing.
Then we would inevitably ask the burning question to decide all questions: “If you were a crayon color, what would you be?!?!?!” My six year old self, not at this stage bogged down by any need for rationale or reason behind my answer(s) in life, would simply look at the colors splayed out on the sunny lawn, and choose exactly which shade I felt at that particular moment. Some days the bright, cheery ones would beckon to me---yellows, hot pinks and flourescents. Other days I was drawn by the dulled, soothing pastels---pretty and non-imposing, they somehow were just right. Or the cool colors---those violet, blue and green jewel tones that calmed, yet had enough character to not lull me into a complete coma.
But most of the time, it was the names that attracted me…that lit something within me—a recognition of sorts, within my very self. GRAY was one I almost never let out of the box (my happy-go-lucky lil’ personage would shudder at even the thought!) CERULEAN was a common favorite—sending imaginings of swirling and swimming through a deep, blue sea. PERIWINKLE sounded like “twinkle”—and who wouldn’t be happy when they think of the word twinkle? RAZZMATAZZ brought with it an attitude and outrageousness---maybe it was all the zzzzzzzzzz’s that were also so fun to me. SHAMROCK—for the days when I felt extra impish, elven—or wanted to pay homage to my enlivened Irish roots. TICKLE ME PINK would occasionally be the choice du jour (although tickling was strictly kept to days when I was in especially good humor—otherwise, don’t touch me!)—because then I would become SCREAMIN’ GREEN!
Yes, I have fond memories of those color-full days in the backyard with my sisters…and still to this day, at the ripe old age of (whispers)…. 29…. (pause for a moment of reverent silence here_____________), I still reach for that coloring book and continue to ask myself about the future. But now, rather than what I want to be—it is a query into who I want to be.
I believe I will forever, by shades and degrees, be answering this....so stay tuned….and go color your world~