When I was a child, I spoke like a child, thought like a child and saw the world in full color. When I became a woman, I gave up childish ways and let the colors slip away.
What a fool I've been!
I'm taking my colors back.
Along with a few of my childish ways.
I'll be more true to blue, color of a summer day. Blueberries picked from brambly bushes, eaten with cream. Blue denims torn at the knees, pockets filled with precious finds. Cornflowers and first-prize ribbons. A stack of Wedgewood plates. The canvas cover on our sailing ship.
Five in the boat, we ease toward the haze on the far horizon. The sails lift and we sweep into the wild blue yonder. Borne by the wind, we're bouyant, walking on water, skipping the ocean blue. Beneath the waves that cradle our ship, beasts of the sea sing lullabies to their young.
Suddenly, the sun departs, taking the light from the sky and sea. Our peaceful, easy blues turn anxiously gray in the swelling storm and we sail for shore, tucked beneath the bow of the boat.
I promise to see more red, color of flaming bougainvilleas. To remember barns we played in, wagons wheeled in, sleds flown down the hill. Midsummer's ripe tomatoes, edging their way across the window sill, squeezed into wide-mouthed jars lining Mother's pantry shelves. Cherry popsicles melting in the sun. Lipstick kisses on love letters. Cinnamon red-hots. Bonfires.
I'll remember holding hands under the crimson blanket, our fingers twining together in a secret clasp. After awhile, he draws the blanket about us and we draw close together. Warmer. The flames of the campfire blaze orange, then blue, then red, swirling together in a madcap dance.
His eyes have a special look; I think he is going to kiss me. I can't breathe. My cheeks burn, his face so close to mine. Our lips meet, warm and cushiony in the velvet dark.
I can breathe after all.
I'll go for more green, color of the old mill pond, hanging thick with moss around the waterfall. Copper pennies in the bottom of the pond shimmer in the fading light. Lucky charms. Like finding four-leaf clovers in the grass, drinking soda from green-glass bottles, catching a big one in Dad's old boat. Rows of tall corn for hide-and-seek. Grass deepening in the dusk.
As the sun slips over the edge of the world, we toss our pennies in the pond and make our secret wishes. It's a quiet ritual, no one breaks the sacred silence for we know that if we tell our wishes, they won't come true. We loop arms around each other and go in to dinner.
In bed, I pull the night around me and wrap myself in gentle comforts: the sweet hush of the house, the fan blowing airy breezes through the room.
Beneath the moonlight, the colors sleep.
A sudden brilliance at the window, the sun is high. It cracks my consciousness with its bolt from the blue. Up and away, I'll count the yellows reborn in the light: Deep-fried donuts, orange juice in my glass, yellow checks on the picnic cloth we spread upon the sand. Abroad, the sea water shimmers with the promise of a perfect day. Corn roasted on the buttered cob. Yellow balloons on strings. A bird on the wing.
Before us, the lifeguard raises the flag on the beachfront pole. Then a rainbow of small flags follows on a line from the top of the pole to the ground on either side of the pole, forming an arch that frames the beach and the horizon beyhond.
The raising of the rainbow gives rise to the day and a sweet blessing on my re-opened eyes.