“What do you
think of the pink room?” I ask my daughter. 

“Every time
I walk into it I think, ‘Well?’, like I expect it to say something to me, to
tell me why it’s so pink,” she replies. 

together on a sunny Sunday morning in bed, we laugh because it is so

She was with
me when we picked the paint color at Lowes. 
 While I gathered a bouquet of
pinks from among the paint chips, she made her own collection of beautiful, bold
colors in the bottom of the shopping cart. 

“I’m making
a color collection,” she said and I smiled to see her perusing the rainbow, listening to her
own internal guide as she gathered colors. 

narrowing it down to three shades of pink, I leaned toward the lightest, but asked
her to help me make a final selection. 
She picked the slightly bolder middle shade and I thought, ‘Well, why

My husband
said he didn’t care.   Even on the way home, when I teased him with paint
chips in deep shades of magenta, he held his ground.  But when he opened the can labeled “Pink
Taffy,” the words, “Wow! That’s PINK!” shot out. 

Seeing the
primered walls begin to blush, even I had second thoughts.  I’ve always leaned toward neutral shades in
paint and clothing – tans, beiges, straight up blues and creams.

“There are
people,” I said, “who would paint their dining room pink. Why can’t I be one of
those people?”

“You are one of those people,” he


I’ve recently
developed a thing for pinks and purples, oranges and fuchsia – all of the
bright colors.  I bought purple nail
polish a few weeks back.  Not long before
that, a flouncy orange skirt – the color of sherbet.  Walking the clothing aisles of the local
Salvation Army Thrift Store, I pass by the browns, whites and blacks, heading
straight for the bright delights of chartreuse, purple, pink and turquoise.  I even bought a pair of pink shoes recently and I’m secretly on the lookout for a pink pair of skinny jeans.

Do you
remember the scene in the movie The
Wizard of Oz
when everything turns from black and white to technicolor?  This change in me feels something like that.  Or maybe like the pink Zinnia I planted on
the side of our house.  The first blossom opened this weekend.  The plant, once just one shade of green among many, was transformed by its opening, set apart by a brilliant splash of joy.

As we worked
our way around the dining room, hesitancy gave way to joyful delight.  “It’s such a happy color,” I said over and
over again. 


Last month I
sat in my Spiritual Director’s lovely white meeting space – a space filled with
the gentle greens and browns of nature. 

“I’m in a
period of consolation,” I said.  A friend
recently described the spiritual state of consolation as a time in which one
feels an “overwhelmed awareness of the love of God.”

She asked me
to tell her more, to give story to the definition and I unpacked all of the
lovely little things in my life, the places of grace and love, laying them out
between us. 

“What does it
feel like to be love so well?” she asked.

I closed my
eyes and thought. 

“It feels
like a bouquet of beautiful flowers.”   

“What color?”
she asked.

I closed my
eyes and thought, felt, again.  “All of
the bright colors,” I replied.

“That sounds
lovely,” she said, nodding in recognition of the joy and love in my face.


If you come
to my house and see the pink dining room, sour apple green kitchen, the purple
and turquoise accents, please know that what you are seeing is an extension of
my heart. 

I am, like
my daughter, making a color collection. 
As life deepens and widens, so also does my palette. 

People tell
me over and over again that I’m brave to speak about my struggles with anxiety
and panic attacks, they tell me I’m courageous. 
But for me, talking about the darkness comes naturally.  For me, choosing the light, no matter what its
hue, is a far more courageous and vulnerable thing to do.

brave is a brilliant shade of pink.  

Have you noticed changes in your color preferences over the years?  What are your favorite shades these days?  What color would YOU love to paint your dining room?   

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