Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Shades of grey.

I was in another supermarket, in line behind a woman dressed in turquoise shorts, yellow leather ballet flats and a T-shirt, so dazzlingly white that it had to be brand new. Her necklace was also turquoise; large round stones lying smooth against her dark and slightly peeling skin.

 She stood out from the crowd like an exotic bird in amongst a mass of crows. The steely grey sky had settled low this morning and was leaking heavy drops of rain. The rest of us were wearing coats and boots or shoes, not yet ready to shed our winter camouflage or show the world some skin.

"My body's in shock." She told the cashier. "I've just come back from Hawaii and I can't get over the all this rain. And the sky it's just so grey."

The cashier ran an item over the scanner.

"In Hawaii, where I just was, the sky was bright blue. This is so depressing."

The cashier made a sympathetic but disinterested noise.

"Where are you from?" asked the girl who was packing the groceries.

"Oh I'm from the Portland area." The woman said, rubbing her bare arms. "Lake Oswego originally."

"And you're surprised? That it's raining? In March?" The girl loaded bread and milk into a bag. She sounded innocent enough.

The cashier focused her attention on the contents of my cart. "In shock." she muttered as the chilly woman left. "She ought to have known better." Her line of customers agreed.

"I had a lady in the other day,"said the bag packing girl, joining in.  "She was lovely. She really made me think. Someone else was complaining about the weather and she just said. "I think grey can be quiet soothing."

We all thought about this for a while and I peered out through the window watching the puddles vibrating with each and every splash of rain. People dashed about, heads down, running for the safety of their cars or the awning stretched out above the store.

"She said it was a kind of back drop to everything else." The girl continued. "I guess that's one way of looking at it."

As I drove home, I thought about this. Anything that makes the grey seem less oppressive has to be worth a try.

The more I thought, the more I wondered. Is grey an overly maligned color, too often referred to in derogatory terms?  Grey so often equals drab, dreary, somber or. It describes battle ships, the barrel of a gun, flinty blades and unhealthy skin.

But grey is also the color of rocks that line a beautiful sea shore or the smoke that rises from a warm and welcoming fire. Doves are grey, and so is the graphite running through the center of a newly sharpened pencil. Grey it isn't all bad.

The trees looked different now I saw them against a restful backdrop instead of overshadowed by a glowering sky. The evergreen branches looked so rich I could almost smell them and the patterns in the dark bark of the trunks stood out so clearly, I could feel the roughness of the wood against my fingers tips and across the palms of my hands.

I wonder who the lady was, the one who had referred to grey as 'soothing' and has given me a new perspective. I would thank her if I met her and I will remember her words and use them as a panacea against another rainy day.

And now, do I long really need to see a blue sky that stays around for more than just a single day.............?

Are you kidding?    BRING IT ON.

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