13 July, 2006

Seeing Red

Random thoughts from The Strawberry Patch…

We decided to plant twin Crape Myrtles, one on each side of the entrance to our driveway. Simple enough decision, right? Maybe not. “What color” asked my husband; “Red” I answered. I had seen a red one; once. A bright, clear, true red. Not pink, not coral, not fuchsia, not burgundy, not watermelon—RED. “OK”, said my husband; “red it is”. Off he went to the nursery.

He went Crape Myrtle shopping after the blooms had faded; at the appropriate time, in the fall of the year, for planting. He called me from the nursery: “Is the color called Dynamite” he asked, hopefully. “I don’t know” I replied, “Is that RED”? I could hear the volley of questions in the background as he held onto the cell phone. Finally, in resignation, he returned to the line: “they think so”. “Sounds good to me, lets go with Dynamite”! I knew, from that moment, if I hoped for the same bright, clear, true red Crape Myrtles that I could imagine flanking our driveway, I was going completely on faith. Faith is something I have in great supply... but yet, when it comes to the color red, things can get tricky...

Red, after all, is subjective. I know this for several reasons:

1.) I am a woman, as other women can surely attest who’ve ever shopped for nail polish or lipstick… there is every shade of imaginable red with wonderful, descriptive color names. We find one we love. We buy it. It’s never quite right…and yet; undaunted and ever-hopeful, we continue to shop for the perfect shade.

2.) I am a quiltmaker. Red, like every other color, is relative to what surrounds it. I teach this. Actually, I even use a tool to identify color value by looking through a red lens which removes all other color from the mix and aids in placement by shade alone. A blue red, an orange red, a dark red, a clear-bright red would all appear differently when viewed through this tool.

3.) I shop for clothes. A red blouse, or skirt, or scarf would depend on so many other factors… chiefly, what it’s being paired with. A cherry red might match where a tomato red would be completely wrong.

The Crape Myrtles took hold through the winter and are shaping up to be beautiful additions our driveway’s entry. They slowly leafed out and gradually the flower buds began to form. I have been holding my breath, figuratively, all spring and early summer. I have been ever-so-eager to observe the flowers that I have faithfully seen in my mind’s eye.

This morning the blooms emerged, bursting forth from their small round bud-clusters! God’s glorious gift and surprise; they are the most exquisite shade of MAGENTA!! I’m not sure I’ve ever seen this color before, or any shade of red that I could love more than this. It’s not what I expected at all; it’s ten times better!

Was this color a happy accident, a coincidence, good fortune, or serendipity?
I call it “Dynamite,” and I couldn’t be happier.
I had faith in one thing, and yet; there was a much greater reward waiting...
there always is!


Life is good.


6 comments:

Kyle said...

Better handle those beetles eating them..

Good post.

DISCOM said...

WHAT DID WE DO TO FINALLY DESERVE A POST FROM YOU? I THOUGHT MAYBE AFTER READING OURS YOU WERE SCARED TO POST.

REDS ARE SO VERY TRICKY BUT HERE IS WHAT I HAVE LEARNED IN MY SHORT LITTLE TIME HERE ON EARTH.....

WHEN YOU FIND A GOOD SHADE OF RED STICK TO IT! FOR EXAMPLE A SHADE OF RED LIPSTICK YOULOVE - BUY 5 OF THEM.... BECAUSE AS SOON AS YOU DECIDE YOU LOVE IT AND NEED MORE THEY WILL (I PROMISE YOU) DISCONTINUE IT.

I LOVE MY RED AND AM LOYAL TO CERTAIN SHADES. I.E. MY NAIL COLOR HAS NOT CHANGED IN TWO YEARS: THE ONLY THING THAT GOES ON MY TOES OR NAILS..... O.P.I. - "THE BERRY BEST"... WHAT CAN I SAY IF YOUR HORSE IS WINNING WHY SWITCH MIDWAY UPSTREAM.

Jalapeno said...

Mrs.V -

I love the new strawberry picture that you added. It is adorable!

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

You're kidding, right? I CAN'T SEE IT (strawberries)! I thought Kyle was messing with me, is this a conspiracy?

Kyle said...

New post please...

ImPerceptible said...

Reminds me of the Azelea I bought. Thought it was red. It turned out a dark salmon. It compliments the green shutters perfectly. I love it.

... Kinda like searching for strawberries and finding a wonderful website.