I remember, from when the kids were small, wishing for more colour. Boy clothes, in my experience, are pretty much navy or brown. Or, if they are clothes with a little colour about them, they are soon dirty. Which makes them, again, brown.
I’d gaze at the girl clothes, racks and racks of them, all soft material and bright colours and so cute, and then I’d buy more jeans and t-shirts, and wonder how long till these had holes in them like the rest.
I had a girl once, for a year, and it was fun, dressing up and doing hair and taking joy in pretty.
My boy world, though, is pretty brown. But beautiful, still.
The prairie is browning around me. Shades of gold and faded, like an old monochromatic photograph. The leaves are leaving their tree homes, resting yellow on beds of trampled, brittle grass. Flying up again, though, for a final dance, old folks dosey doe-ing. Swing your partner round and round. Last call, ladies.
I’m tempted to miss summer’s youth. Bright and fresh and full of possibility. When they were babies and we had all the time in the world to get it right.
I’m settling into brown, though, and finding the blessing of this colour.
It’s a gentle, familiar colour, reminding me of my men and hard work and hard play and the harvest of the bright summer.
It’s the colour of reaping what was sown, of pulling up from the ground and shaking off the dirt and enjoying what was worked for.
You know I’m not just talking gardens, right?
You know I’m talking children growing and marriage mellowing and the preserving of the years of planting and watering and tending, right?
We aren’t finished, of course. There is still green and colour and growing to do, but I am more conscious now of the reaping. The blessing of the harvest. The enjoyment of the brown.
This colour, the colour of harvest, is part of my life, too. I don’t want to miss its beauty.