Coloring the World
Color has always attracted my attention. One of my earliest childhood memories places me in the middle of our backyard flower garden, gently touching colorful petals of all shades and gazing through the trees at the bright-blue sky overhead. My mother taught me the charisma of color, how God created it for us to connect with Him and celebrate life. By simply helping me to draw bright bunches of flowers on plain white paper to make a get well card card for a neighbor, she was enlivening for me the emotional effects of color. Beautifully relinquishing wardrobe control to a young daughter, my mother allowed me to find that dressing myself in bright, happy colors on rainy days lifted the spirits, hence revealing the strong, life giving power of color.
On many Saturday nights, I played beauty-hour with my mother as she got ready for events and nights out with my dad. Before she slipped into a gorgeous dress, she crowned my head with pink-foam rollers to be uncoiled for church the next morning. While rolling my hair, she taught me that inner beauty is more vivacious than curls. I learned that a kind word could leave a longer lasting mark on the heart than any curl could ever hold- a good illustration, since my curls rarely lasted past Sunday lunch!
Our home embodied hospitality, which to my mother was like a coloring book for expressing her passion for cooking. We were always celebrating something or someone! Many of those festivities wrapped around mealtime, so setting the table was a big part of any celebration. As soon I could tippy-toe and see over the kitchen counter, my mom taught me to dress a table. I loved pulling bright, crisp linens out of the wooden chest in the dining room. Setting a table in style was a post I had earned—and every party was an opportunity to celebrate! I was a full-service mini-hostess, by the way, regularly offering my singing, dancing, and costuming talents as dinner entertainment. I was taught to reveal well, (and I LOVE giving gifts!) so I created a character called Vana Morgana, based on Vana White of “Wheel of Fortune.” As Vana Morgana, I would reveal and award gifts with a big smile and an elegant wave of my arm.
I grew up a dancer, and a visual learner. My mother provided a colorful palette of inspiration for me, and taught me to express my God-given, developing talents with confidence. Early on, I learned that living beautifully takes work, but the results are so worth the effort!
My mother also taught me the importance of thoughtful choices, and to prioritize and protect family time. Today, I continue to watch her color the world using creativity in problem-solving, along with honesty and strength of character in leadership. She is known to say that people may not always agree with her, but they will always know where she stands. As her daughter, I’m proud to stand beside her and use the gifts she has taught me to make the world a beautiful place—one filled with thoughtfulness, hard work, and the charisma of color.
Color is transformational. We can find joy and inspiration in the spectrum of nature, food, people, photography, experiences, and memories. Finding a palette of inspiration can equip us to create joyful and enriching experiences for the people in our lives. Color the world with confidence and leave your mark!