Counting Colors

Counting Colors

A girlfriend of mine was reminiscing about her mom and her habit – whether they were running errands around town or on vacation somewhere picturesque – of always saying “Look at all those different shades of green on those trees” or “Look at the happy little faces on those petunias.”

It made her mom so happy in that moment.

Now, my girlfriend can’t help but practice the same habit. It’s a legacy of “noticing” that her mother instilled in her children – these little moments of visual joy, purposefully sought out.

Gifts from the Universe

Color is one of those free gifts the universe sets out for us, like a bountiful wedding feast. It is everywhere and, because it’s so abundant, we can become numb to its presence.

But we get to choose what we pay attention to. Considering the colors of nature is a way to say “thank you” to the powers that sponsor the show. It’s also one of the many ways I practice #OnlyJoy, and so can you.

Stop, look around you, and see the Pantone palette in everything. A sunset, the multiple aquas in an iceberg, and the mix of crimson, gold and plum autumn leaves, are all opportunities to enrich your soul.

Wander into a floral shop, or even marvel at the rows upon rows of flowers on display at the grocery store, and take a moment to check out the hues of each stair-stepped, wavy petal of a peony. 

Stuck at your desk? Then Google “Dragonet fish” (also known as a Mandarin) and be blown away by the riot of colors.

A Distraction from All the Distractions

Once, as I was in an airplane nearing the Hawaii coast, I literally hurt my neck craning to see how the ocean went from navy to cobalt to turquoise the closer we got to the shore. It was worth it.

If you’re a rain lover, pull up a chair to the best storm-viewing window in the house and watch the roiling purple-blue-black clouds move in. The power of those colors mixed with wind, rain, and thunder serve to remind us of who brings the color: Nature does.

 The next time you find yourself buried in our culture of distraction, take a color break and say a simple “thank you” just by noticing its work.

Let the wonder of it all infuse your mind with awe.