For a time, all the books were shelved with the pages, not the spines facing forward. Another time, prompted by some sort of famous person, all the spines with titles were organized by color.
Often, I take the book covers off a new book, curious over the color chosen by the publishers. The colors are typically soft, often blue, tan or yellow.
They’re muted, not noisy.
The star quilt is the one I chose. My grandmother died and we all gathered around the cedar chest to pick a quilt from the perfectly folded pile. Three quilts came back to Carolina that day. My daughter chose a soft blue sort of willowy with a ring pattern. My son chose the largest with a spattering of vivid, I decided, story telling squares.
There’s a sweet spot on my walking road that caused me to stop long ago. Sometimes with the Labrador, often alone. The vast valley of green field bordered by forest always caught the sun going down and the weeds, grass, wildflowers seemed to be wearing halos.
I’d stop, neighbors maybe looking on and I’d capture the blue sky scattered with clouds over the splendid field.
Then someone, a young couple, decided to put a double-wide home in the space on the end.
It seemed an intrusion to pause there to think. It wasn’t the same place, the field felt somehow disgraced by the change.
But, yesterday evening, I approached the hill that curves around to the big open field. The sky reminded me of waves building, like the tide’s rhythm. I paused for a photo.
As I continued towards home, I saw a girl hurrying down our driveway. I met her. She told me she had mail that might belong to us and then asked for an egg. She told me she lives in the trailer, has a baby, a boyfriend who works too much and a mama who is sick with a second bout of cancer. Then she told me she can’t find the people who should have this handful of junk mail, coupons and such and then asked again, “Do you have an egg?” She wanted to make some cornbread.
So I gave her two eggs, told her my name and that I would pray for her mama.
And she crossed the road back to her home, the robin’s egg blue trailer in the field I loved.
And now, love again.
My star quilt is used to cover a hole in the arm of my then new loveseat. The Labrador we love beyond measure ate a chunk out of the arm as a wild and excited puppy, home alone.
So, I folded my clean quilt, beige and blank side showing to match the furniture and to disguise the damage.
The stars’ colors never showing.
This morning, I’m seeing the change, the quilt folded before bed with the star pattern showing. The colors are dancing next to the cobalt blue of a pillow and the rich green of a painting I painted and framed before I ever had the guts to use the word “artist”.
The same green of the field with tiny new pines is the same green of the grass on this painting and the moss from so much rain, a pillow for a feather I spotted walking.
I suppose I’m noticing God again after a season of just continuing towards what we all felt might soon be better.
I’m considering all the places I’ve missed in the interim and acknowledging some grace I can give myself.
Get chances to give others.
Because the places of goodness in my life hold the promise of more; even more lines, color, and interruptions that aren’t misdirections, detours or disasters.
Simply colors added to my story.
Just so pleasant, the peace of accepting them.
“The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.”
Psalm 16:6 ESV
God is everywhere. Don’t forget to notice.
Your colors are showing.