The Absence of Color

So, last Thanksgiving, the boy and I are ‘ooing’ and ‘awwing’ over the first snow fall, one of our favorite moments in Colorado, and he and his 12 year old self say to me, “I love the absence of color when the snow falls.”

I think to myself, “Um, ok…wow….” Perhaps what caught me most was the fact that a 12 year old thinks like that, or maybe the fact that a male 12 year old can actually think AND talk like that. His linguistic gifts have gotten him in trouble a time or two with teachers, especially when combined with his acting and mimicking abilities. Ask him sometime to produce the South Park character “Cartman” for you, but have your filters prepared in advance! Neither Hakim nor I have that kind of penache (accent mark over the “e” there) or acting ability.

But in all my living, all the years in the dry, dusty desert, I had been most intrigued and drawn to the times of color in nature…. the spring when green began to color the horizon of the sand dunes, or to show on the sides of that which we then called ‘mountain’ there in El Paso. The fall was most beautiful with its espousing brilliance and crescendo of the colorful leaves before its petite morte.

Yet here is a boy who sees the color in what I thought of as death. Wow, whoodda thunk. Lesson learned again. Probably time to listen more carefully to young people. I did listen. It is part of why we will leave for Kenya on June 19th. Just a little public service announcement there.

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