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Color in Winter

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colored pencils 500In these cold, dark days of winter I close the blinds as the day’s last rays of light are slowly fading to keep out the cold. Even if it does not make the house warmer, it makes it seem warmer and cozy. I eat comfort food, read more, go to bed earlier. Sometimes I am content with this way of life and other times I long for more light and longer days. February is the hardest month for me. Winter is dragging on and yet I feel spring, just around the corner, in my bones. I long to have the world colored vividly again.

 I have found coloring my world in small ways helps me cope. Color is amazingly important to me. Some days, a brightly colored pair of socks is just the “ticket.” The red striped pair, the orange ones with the polk-a-dots, or the teal green ones will leap out at me in the morning. Even though no one else may notice them, they brighten my world.

paint chips 500A trip to the paint section at Home Depot or the local hardware store has become a favorite pastime. An array of color marches down the aisle displaying a feast for my eyes and soul. Many times I just stand there, undecided as to what to select first. I am a warm color girl, loving the yellows and oranges I start there first. But then I move to the greens and on to the blues. Some days I like moody, dark colors that look like smudges of deep dense richness. Other days the pastels cannot be passed up as they speak to me of sunshine and laughter. I always leave with a handful of amazing hues. Back at home I tack them to my bulletin board where I can see them every day. When spring finally does come and the world is once again alive with color, I tuck them into a file for future use as tags for presents or . . .

(Recently I found out that I am not the only one who finds pleasure in paint chips. The Internet is alive with ideas of how to craft them into all sorts of things.)

On winter nights I get out my colored pencils or felt tip pens and doodle, letting my mind run to this and that as I place color on paper. It does not matter that the doodles are nonsensical or just a series of shapes marching down the page. My eye takes pleasure in the colors, my mind relaxes and my soul breathes again.

floral shop 500Dreary days bring trips to the grocery and a sideline to the floral center where color abounds. Sometimes I will splurge and bring home a collection of yellow spider mums or the big round-faced sunflowers to brighten my table. Looking at them my mind drifts to memories of a farmer’s market and the stalls lined with buckets of every imaginable shape, size and color of flower. In this market, vegetables also lined tables in shades of greens, oranges, reds and purples. Soul penetrating colors marching through my memory.

Sometimes it is a trip to the local quilting store where bolts of fabric entice me. I linger over them convincing myself to bring home a fat quarter or two even though I no longer sew. They lie on my nightstand or get pinned to the bulletin board until they are passed on to a friend who sews.

As the days of winter march on toward spring, these things keep my world alive, well and full of color.

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