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In Living Color

I remember the day my parents brought it home. It was as exciting as the day they drove home the brand new station wagon with the rear seat that faced backwards. Could it get any better than that! Little did we know. We turned it on. Before our very eyes, all those people who yesterday were in black and white were now in living color. Yes, our very first color TV. Wow!

Indeed it was exciting to see living color on our television screen, and of course today, color being standard fare, many are now opting for the plasma or digital screens where the color becomes even more “alive,” as the resolutions become even finer. Yes, technology is a wonderful thing. So is Mother Nature, for she is in living color every time we open our eyes, especially in the good old summer time.

Perhaps you have noticed the beautiful show. The shades of green covering the landscape, often changing with the intensity of the sun. The shades of pink of the petunia’s, zinnia’s, and crepe myrtles, interspersed with white, yellow, orange, purple, red, etc. The shades of blue of the hydrangeas, some that are truly too blue to be true. The blues of the sky, laced with white clouds. Less we forget, the luscious red of the ripened tomatoes; the deep purple of the blackberries; the soft yellow of a ripe cob of corn and the juicy orange of a fresh piece of cantaloupe. The list is endless. A rainbow of colors exists around us if we are only open to see.

The curmudgeon in me says, “so what?” Yes, the color is nice to look at but does it really make a difference? I thought about this as I was driving into work today, challenging myself to be aware of the living color surrounding me. With this intention, I was more aware of the benefits when I arrived for my appointment….energized, perhaps because I had smiled more absorbing the beauty and whimsy of the color; my visual “brain” was engaged, ready to create a conversation of living color. I left home plodding forward into the day. I arrived engaged in my day. All thanks to Mother Nature.
Indeed a color TV is a wonderful thing, and the improved technology helps us see even more of the beauty of color in Mother Nature, if we watch the Discovery Channel. Unfortunately, the reality that many of us have created has us relying on technology to live our lives in living color. We may play with the background of our monitor or paint our walls to add color to our homes and offices. We may go the next step and plant some summer flowers, or enjoy perusing the summer fresh vegetables. We see the beauty. And that is good.

My reflection on color began during graduation week. Hailing from Oklahoma and Texas, my family loves seeing the mountains, and that week they put on a spectacular show as they were particularly green and luscious. So green that when we drove the country roads, we were encased by green. It was magical.  And then I went with my parents to visit my mother’s cousin, Judy, whom mom had not seen probably since she had purchased her first color TV. As Judy served us a colorful plate of food, she commented that her mother had always said that a colorful plate was a sign of good nutrition. Clearly a motto she had lived successfully by for years, as she went on to share that her children (grown, of course) still tease her about  her colorful plates of food. My hope is they know the blessing of this lesson.  

Since then, I have been paying more attention to my own color selection of food. While continuing to be drawn to the deep rich brown of dark chocolate, I am making some progress. Thank you Judy, for teaching me one of the guiding principles of color, and increasing my awareness to the value of living a life in living color with Mother Nature as my guide.     

Extra Ordinary

How are you benefiting from the color around you?

What changes can you commit to make to live a life in living color?

How colorful is your plate (literally and figuratively)?


Janet Crawford MHA, MBA Professional Certified Coach

Extra Ordinary Living is written for aspiring individuals looking for new perspectives and ideas for living life differently by finding the Extra in the Ordinary.

Sustainable Living Tip:

If you are like most of us, you buy bottles of water. Some of you may even use bottled water as your sole source of drinking water. Others, when in a pinch and simply thirsty. When I do, I smile as I imagine my grandparents laughing, scratching their heads, at the absurdity of what I am buying and for how much.

In light of the green movement, there is actually an underground movement to slow down the purchase of bottled water. Making us aware of the waste that we are creating. Americans alone consume more than 2.5 million bottles of water every hour, and only approximately 10% are recycled. Raising our awareness to the cost, with a gallon of designer water costing more than the same amount of pop, gasoline or milk.

The solution: go back to the faucet. If inclined, buy a filter to remove the additional contaminates. Enjoy the savings. Enjoy the taste. Enjoy the fact you are doing something to nurture our planet earth.


"The white light streams down to be broken up by those human prisms into all the colors of the rainbow. Take your own color in the pattern and be just that."
-Charles R. Brown

"Just as a prism of glass miters light and casts a colored braid, a garden sings sweet incantations the human heart strains to hear. Hiding in every flower, in every leaf, in every twig and bough, are reflections of the God who once walked with us in Eden."
-Tonia Triebwasser, The Color of Grace

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