Rainbow Colors: Orange

“Ah, sailing. It is the most work you’ll ever do relaxing.” – Sibelius Russell

Today’s subject is the color orange, and to me orange is color of love.

I know that red is a more popular choice as the color of love, and it is a good choice, a solid choice, but orange is a better one, I think. Orange combines all the passion of red with the sunshine of yellow into a kind of glowing thing.

Like love, which is itself a glowing thing.

I grew up near or on the beach in Northwest Florida, and sailing was one of the things I learned to do young. I’ve sailed under a sunset like the one in the photo above, and the feeling I had — I still remember it to this day — of complete wholeness, and oneness with the wind and the water and the sky — that’s pretty much what love feels like, too, so orange wins.

Although I’m guessing that red might want a recount.

“Oranges are actually orange, and Valencia Oranges are actually grown in Valencia: I found this reassuring as a kid, after the disillusionment occasioned by hearing that roses were red (instead of rose) and violets were blue (instead of violet).” – Owen Servant

I remember learning colors in school. One particular story can wait until tomorrow (yellow), but everyone remembers the bright colors of childhood, wherever we might have been able to find them: in crayons, in fingerprints, in school bulletin boards – maybe even in clothes or lunch boxes. (Choosing a “favorite color” is a fascinating exercise in teaching children to have preferences over completely arbitrary things – but I digress.) I was confused by the names of some of the colors, as in the universal rhyme referenced earlier about roses and violets. At any rate using all the colors (as in the prized 120 box of Crayola crayons) was something I was truly excited about doing, when I had the chance – and maybe you did, too.

Sometimes, teens will switch to wearing some kind of monochrome palate (usually black or brown) because they don’t want to be seen wearing “childish” colors. When I went through that phase (in my late teens – remember I lived in Florida) I used orange. Yes orange. We wore shorts in my teen years – they were difficult to tell from swimsuits – that were called “Sun Britches”.

Some of you are about to Google that. I apologize in advance.

They were ugly, and I looked hideous in them, but I thought I was the coolest thing walking.

In my orange.

Ready for LUUVVV.

“‘With age comes wisdom,’ is one of those statements we all agree on, even if none of us have never seen any evidence of its truth” – Me

In my late twenties, I bought a sports car. I couldn’t afford it, but I was “better” after all my health issues, and working, and I thought, ‘screw it, why not?’ in the fashion of aging men everywhere.

When I met the younger woman who is now my ex-wife, I was driving said sports car, and living down by the beach. However, I no longer had the confidence that a good pair of sun britches had provided me in high school.

When I met her, I was 28 and she was 22, and I honestly thought I was an old man who would be lucky to still meet anyone at my age. We met, we dated, we went places in that car, we got married.

When she left home, I was 36 and she was 28, and we had a three year old child together.  The sports car had been traded for an economy car and an SUV, the beach was five hours away, and the orange seemed to be fading everywhere.

“Gratitude is like exercise: knowing that it is good for us doesn’t make us any more likely to engage in it.” – Sibelius Russell

The first thanksgiving after my divorce, my parents came to visit. I was trying to learn to cook, having a young child at home, and having spent most of the previous few years studying to be an actuary.

My parents did what they could to help; my dad with the yard and fixing things, my mom with the house and with my son. I got excited about cooking for Thanksgiving, so I got together all the ingredients for a meal. My mom offered to help, but I told her “I got this.”

I didn’t.

It was inedible.

We ended up going to a local Holiday Inn for the holiday buffet, and that turned out to be (although I couldn’t know it at the time) the last Thanksgiving meal I ever had with them before my dad passed away 8 years later.

Thanksgiving had been my favorite holiday as a kid: just a meal, just our family, but I loved everything about it. The orange and brown of thanksgiving look like turkey smells and gravy tastes  – like love.

Like the love of aging parents for their youngest son and his failed marriage.

Like the love that laughs at mistakes, a turns them into buffet lunch over a the Holiday Inn.

“I love the autumn, largely because I always think of the real year as starting in September — the only really new things in January are typically holiday bills.” – Owen Servant

I met the woman I’m married to now while I was in the throes of my divorce. It certainly never occurred to me there would ever be anything between us. She was beautiful, luminous — kind of out of my league, in other words — and I wasn’t looking for anyone.

She was also going through the early stages of a divorce, with three daughters. I came to get to know her gradually, each time talking a little more, lingering a little longer.

Possibly because of when the school year starts here, but – I have always thought of Autumn as the beginning of new hope.  I had started dating some – a woman here or there – but nothing that seemed really right. She was always the one my thoughts went back to, even though I didn’t think there was or ever would be any interest.

I remember one Sunday, we hugged each other, the way friends might greet each other, except — it lasted a long time. Neither of us wanted to let go. I knew then – it wasn’t just me.

That was almost eighteen years ago. We’ve been married now more than sixteen years. This last fall we went on a trip to a rustic sort of place where we could see all the colors of fall, and I remember an afternoon, where we stood amid the blazing colors of autumn, and just held each other, the way we had that first time.

It was like sailing through an endless orange sunset.

For love is a glowing thing.

Author: Sibelius Russell

Sibelius Russell (a/k/a/ Owen "Beleaguered" Servant) lives a life of whimsical servitude -- whatever that means.

One thought on “Rainbow Colors: Orange”

  1. You have just tugged all my heart strings for i “know” you too well although we don’t know one another at all and probably wouldn’t if we met. It’s just that so many people have very similar sounding experiences and i know someone who could be you.

    Liked by 1 person

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