Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Winter of Our Discontent and the Balm of Color and Light

 

I recognized the effects of color one winter when I bought a bag of lemons, before they were priced out of my league. I had them in a bowl in the kitchen, and I noticed that I was drawn to keep looking over at them. The little shock of glossy yellow was comforting. I got a similar effect from a heap of limes and tomatoes I purchased for salsa, chili, and spaghetti ingredients. My groceries were doing double duty as medicine for the soul.

I observed something else during the drab, frozen days when darkness closed in before five and a bleary dawn held off until almost nine the next morning. Movies I watched piecemeal on the treadmill were a real mood lifter. Even a few minutes of absorption in a drama not my own made a difference. Of course watching movies was a far more sophisticated solution than buying a bag of fruit. But viewing life in faraway places; where the sun always shone, a gentle breeze ruffled lovely dresses, green lawns stretched alluringly, ladies took walks in rose gardens, and characters conferred under trees where the light through the foliage made fretted patterns in the grass had healing properties that made me glad for the technology that provided luxurious escape.

I saw, too, that a simple photo could hold my attention a little longer than was wonted in non-winter seasons. Pictures online of San Diego’s Balboa Park under blue skies, palm trees with ocean backdrop, a zoo excursion that I could tell took place on a glittering, balmy day, all filled me with longing and yet were strangely soothing.

My bright, pine-ceilinged dining room, when the colors of the curtains were still crisp and we displayed the custom stonework to good effect, was a source of comfort. Each stroke of color, gentle or bold, gave me a corresponding lift when I looked at it. Today I was able to find photographic evidence to share with you. The first picture shows the room at its best, on a rare sunny day. Even the vintage glass fire extinguisher still speaks to me in its sharp red tones. The second photo captures a variegated bouquet of autumn leaves I had gathered before ten days of winter weather had set in. I still see why I wanted it on my kitchen table, why I photographed it, and why I shared the picture with friends. Even one vase of natural colors can stave off winter’s discontent.

Published in Group Writing
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 17 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Kay of MT Member

    Very, very lovely.

    • #1
    • January 11, 2020, at 4:56 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  2. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    This beautiful reflection on color and light is part of our Group Writing Series under the January 2020 Group Writing Theme: Winter of Our Discontent. Share your tale of winter, discontent, content, or maybe tell us a tale of someone done wrong by an author or film maker. There are plenty of dates still available. Our schedule and sign-up sheet awaits.

    Interested in Group Writing topics that came before? See the handy compendium of monthly themes. Check out links in the Group Writing Group. You can also join the group to get a notification when a new monthly theme is posted.

    • #2
    • January 11, 2020, at 6:27 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  3. MarciN Member

    I had to buy hyacinths today. :-)

     

    • #3
    • January 11, 2020, at 6:37 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  4. Kay of MT Member

    Where do you get those in the middle of winter, almost. We have snow and it’s too blooming cold to go out. Oh, but they are so beautiful!

    • #4
    • January 11, 2020, at 6:55 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  5. MarciN Member

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    Where do you get those in the middle of winter, almost. We have snow and it’s too blooming cold to go out. Oh, but they are so beautiful!

    They were in my grocery store. I walked through the store’s doors this afternoon, and the fragrance caught me by surprise. I had to buy five of them. They are sitting now with my little white poinsettia. :-) Now I have a touch spring on my kitchen table. The fragrance is filling up my house. :-)

    We had a particularly long gray winter one year. I was listening to the radio one morning as I was driving around with the kids. The show’s host had asked listeners what they were doing to cope with the long dark gray days. One woman’s answer has stayed with me ever since: She had planted a little patch of grass that she had brought into her sun room on a tray so she could run her toes through the grass, and she had tropical plants on her windowsill. She had put suntan lotion on her arms, and she was playing Jimmy Buffett’s “Hamburger in Paradise.” I think of her every winter! :-)

    • #5
    • January 11, 2020, at 7:26 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  6. sawatdeeka Member
    sawatdeeka Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    MarciN (View Comment):
    They were in my grocery store. I walked through the store’s doors this afternoon, and the fragrance caught me by surprise. I had to buy five of them. They are sitting now with my little white poinsettia. :-) Now I have a touch spring on my kitchen table. The fragrance is filling up my house. :-)

    I like the caller’s winter solution. I also like those flowers!

    • #6
    • January 11, 2020, at 7:32 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  7. Kay of MT Member

    I do have buds on 2 of my orchid plants, and still have blooms on my Christmas cactus. So maybe spring isn’t too far off.

    • #7
    • January 11, 2020, at 7:38 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  8. sawatdeeka Member
    sawatdeeka Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    I do have buds on 2 of my orchid plants, and still have blooms on my Christmas cactus. So maybe spring isn’t too far off.

    Ha, ha. I saw a sign in Evergreen that had a countdown of days to spring, and it sounded unbelievably far off. Okay, the Internet says 50 days. Hang in there! Find some good projects. 

    • #8
    • January 11, 2020, at 7:42 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  9. Kay of MT Member

    sawatdeeka (View Comment):
    Find some good projects. 

    An Arctic cold spell is on its way, so keeping my window plants from freezing will be a good project. It’s predicted to go as far south as Los Angeles. I think today will be a good day to prepare for stock and basics for future meals for the next couple of weeks.

    • #9
    • January 12, 2020, at 6:19 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  10. sawatdeeka Member
    sawatdeeka Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    sawatdeeka (View Comment):
    Find some good projects.

    An Arctic cold spell is on its way, so keeping my window plants from freezing will be a good project. It’s predicted to go as far south as Los Angeles. I think today will be a good day to prepare for stock and basics for future meals for the next couple of weeks.

    I’m going to be cooking some food for this week as well, not because of the weather necessarily, but because meat was on sale and it would be good to have quick meals on hand. It could prove to be providential if the weather gets severe, however.

    • #10
    • January 12, 2020, at 12:14 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  11. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge

    sawatdeeka (View Comment):

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    I do have buds on 2 of my orchid plants, and still have blooms on my Christmas cactus. So maybe spring isn’t too far off.

    Ha, ha. I saw a sign in Evergreen that had a countdown of days to spring, and it sounded unbelievably far off. Okay, the Internet says 50 days. Hang in there! Find some good projects.

    I believe the groundhog predicts an early spring. Of course, he is a resident of Pennsylvania, so who knows if that is a good prediction for us out West.

    • #11
    • February 3, 2020, at 6:24 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  12. Kay of MT Member

    Not a good prediction as it was a bright and sunny “groundhog day.” He could see his shadow all day long.

    • #12
    • February 4, 2020, at 9:14 AM PST
    • Like
  13. Hang On Member
    Hang On Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    What a change from Thailand.

    • #13
    • February 9, 2020, at 12:25 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  14. Stad Coolidge

    Is that a stove or fireplace in the first picture? Whatever it is, it looks cool!

    • #14
    • February 9, 2020, at 12:34 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  15. Front Seat Cat Member

    You may need to invest in an easel and some paint!

    • #15
    • February 9, 2020, at 3:05 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  16. sawatdeeka Member
    sawatdeeka Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    Is that a stove or fireplace in the first picture? Whatever it is, it looks cool!

    It’s a wood burning stove with a fireplace made from rock gathered in our area. Our neighbor was a professional tiler, and he did it for us as a gift.

    • #16
    • February 9, 2020, at 7:17 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  17. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    I just go with Ray to the Asian grocery store.

    • #17
    • February 9, 2020, at 8:55 PM PST
    • 4 likes