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Posts Tagged ‘color’

I was pondering a new color for my walls lately and after much agony, thought, comparison and inner debate over the consequences of my choice I think I have decided.

As I enjoyed my moments of inner peace over such a monumental decision making session ( it’s been going on in my head for about three years) I then pondered if the color choices of my walls over the years has revealed what was going on in my life.

I remember the color of my walls, in the floral wallpaper I had chosen, as a teen … peach. It was soft and fresh and inviting. My bedroom was my refuge to be alone and feel complete contentment. As I look back over those teen years they were, truly, peachy (not all of them, I was a teen after all).

When I got married, hubby and I rented half of an old house, complete with a soft blue (I am sure it was called ‘baby blue’) floral wallpaper in the living room. And although I was desperate to strip it and paint the rented walls (a no, no in our lease agreement) I did not hate it. Of course I was also newly married, and it is amazing that I noticed the wallpaper on the walls, I was so blissfully happy.

Then we moved from a hundreds year old East Coast rental to a brand new apartment in Canada’s capital. All of the walls were … beige. All of the carpets were gray with a hint of … beige. I could not paint the walls (now hating lease agreements) and I was discontented with my state.

After a year or two we moved into a townhouse, a home purchased for us to rent, and we were free to do with it as we pleased … woohoo! And paint we did! Many of the walls got painted a mid to deep blue, called Nirvana, I loved it. In time we purchased this home, and enjoyed all that it provided for us, as we lived and loved, and welcomed our firstborn home. Contented!

Our life then took a turn for the West, and back to renting. The home we moved into came with beige walls, beige ceilings and beige floors (and, sigh, a lease agreement). I still refer to it as the beige wind tunnel! There we lived for two years, and welcomed daughter number two, a colicky red-head who kept us awake at night and attached to coffee by day. Those years were ones of adjustment, to everything!

Then a home of our own, in a community we chose. It met us with dusty rose carpets and baby blue walls, not an original carpet or wall color remained when we left, six years later. The walls were painted a taupe dark enough to know it was NOT beige, with one painted a vibrant burgundy. Our kitchen a bright, Mediterranean yellow. There we welcomed our son. There our life, and the years there were bright, contented, complete.

And now, in our current home for the past eight years, our longest stay under one roof!

Here we welcomed two felines (buried one), a beast (hubby would say a beast of burden), a handful of renters, and two from China who live as part of our family. Here we saw one child enter grade one, and another graduate high school. We have lived here longer than any other home.

We entered a beige wind tunnel n the beginning, and added color so that there is now a different color in every room. What we originally painted taupe with a more orange-red feature wall, will soon be changed. The colors of our previous house, like the life we lived there, could not be re-created here and feel ‘right’. This house is a different house, and our life here is not a copied image from our previous abode.

Yellow will cover all hints of beige, all hints of trying to re-create the past, and starting fresh. A bright new phase of color on the walls, and life under this roof.

Sometimes our outward expressions of paint on the walls, or words from our mouths, reflect perfectly what is going on inside of our beings. Sometimes those (and other) expressions, are applied outwardly in order to alter our inner reality.

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I remember so clearly the first Barbie that our eldest daughter had, and the first lesson she taught us in the process of purchasing it.

The television was constantly advertising ‘Butterfly Princess Barbie’ at every opportunity, and with each commercial break our daughter would say, “Mom, can I get that Barbie?”

Finally, it was her birthday, and we thought we would let her go with us to the store to pick it out. Unfortunately, we had gone shopping in the U.S., and, unfortunately, there was not one Butterfly Princess Barbie, like the one we had all seen on television … or so we thought.

As hubby and I were preparing for deep and mortal depression from our daughter, when she realized that the desired doll was not there, we heard her happy shout, “there she is!” Our eyes moved to the doll that she was struggling mightily to reach on a higher shelf, and then to each other. The doll most certainly was Butterfly Princess Barbie, but she did not have the blue eyes, the golden blond hair, or the alabaster skin. This doll was most clearly the African American doll.

When we lifted it down to her opened arms, and hugged it tightly, we asked if she was sure this was the one she wanted. And she answered, “yes” with her arms still tightly embracing it. We then said, “you do realize that she is not exactly like the one on TV?”

With this questions, she opened her eyes, and looked carefully at the doll in the box. She held it out, she frowned, she stared at it intently, and then she said, “you are right, she has brown eyes instead of blue,” and continued hugging it.

And her father and I looked at each other, and marveled at how quickly and completely we had seen the differences, and how much effort it took for her to see even one.

That is the story that most of us have been taught by our children, or by others children. For children do not see differences, but similarities. We grow up to see, to point out, and to fear differences.

I like that lesson, that was taught to me so innocently by a three-year old. It kind of reminds me of one of the most influential songs of my childhood …

“Jesus Loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red and yellow black and white
They’re all precious in his sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world”

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