I read an article not long ago about a woman who said she planted the garden off of her back porch in all white flowers. Her reason for doing so was so she could sit on her porch at night and see her flowers lit up in the moonlight. As lovely an image as that makes when you think about it, my own reaction was that you would only be able to enjoy that for a couple of hours in the evening. There are 24 hours in the day and, as we have just come up on the longest day of the year, I would much rather have a garden that was bursting with color that I could enjoy for the majority of the day, not just a few hours in the evening.
How dull our world would be if everything was a matter of black and white. There would be no golden sunrises filled with promise, no purple and pink sunsets to bid the day goodnight, no lush fields of green, or stalks of plump, yellow corn, or luscious red strawberries on the vine, or a million and one other colorful experiences that would be missing from our lives.
It is much the same in life as it is in nature. To simply survive is to live in a world of black and white, right and wrong, yes and no. To actually live a life is to burst through between the lines and savor all the color and experiences life has to offer. So often we are raised with such a rigid set of rules to live our lives by that we grow up thinking, "well, that's all there is." It reminds me of the movie, "The Wizard of Oz" where Dorothy's life in Kansas is all black and white until she lands in Oz, and then she opens the door to a world alive with color and experiences she could only dream of. Sometimes we have to step back and look around us and ask ourselves if we are just surviving from day to day, or if we are experiencing all that life has to offer. This also includes experiencing all the different people in the world as well. Some of my most memorable and lasting impressions of life have been through the eyes of people of color and different customs. I now cannot imagine my life without the dancing and drumming of my Native American ancestors, or the meditation of my Buddhist brothers and sisters, or the restorative yoga movements learned from my Hindu relations, or the uplifting, heart-bursting gospel music of my Black friends and neighbors. All of these colors, all of these cultures, have colored my experience of life in a palette only God could create. How dull my life would have been without them.
This morning as I worked in my garden, I noticed a spot that was not doing well due to all of the rain we have had lately, a spot that needed some color. So I rummaged through my collection of flower pots (even here I gravitate to colorful designs) and dug up some lavender to put in them, arranging the pots in between the muddy spots. Now while the spot does its best to dry out and, hopefully, be ready for some new plantings, it will still have some color from the greens and purples of that lovely herb. Sometimes even Mother Nature can use some help coloring the world.
And so it is.