Color 🎨 Outside the Lines

Photo by Artem Podrez on

“November 2”

The date repeatedly magnified in front of my face on the oversized black- and-white 2010 calendar, the only wall décor in the attorney’s office where I sat for three and a half hours (no, she didn’t tell me she was charging per hour!) rehashing a month-long account of what had propelled me to file divorce proceedings against my then husband.

Trying to grasp the end of my 19-year marriage, my stressed brain couldn’t differentiate between November 1st and November 2nd, and which one commemorated All Saint’s Day and which one was All Souls’ Day.  

If you are not familiar with the dates, the internet definitions are below:

All Saints’ Day, also known as All Hallows’ Day, Hallowmas, the Feast of All Saints, or Solemnity of All Saints, is a Christian solemnity celebrated on November 1 in honor of all the saints of the church, whether they are known or unknown.

All Souls’ Day, also known as the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed and the Day of the Dead, is a day of prayer and remembrance for the souls of those who have died, which is observed by Latin Catholics and other Christian denominations annually on November 2.

I finally realized that November 2nd was indeed “the Day of the Dead.” From that bleak day forward, the day slapped a bookmark into the pages of my life and paused a full spool of memories made prominent with lace-up-the sneakers, leaf-peeping adventures. From that autumn on, it took eight years to refill the fall time colors into my black-and-white, gray-hued calendar world. Finally, the afternoon arrived when I drove through the neighborhood, and the sudden sight of crimson, golden leaves inspired me to recite poetry out loud in the car.

A year after color poured back into the lines of my life, little did I realize that the bottom of my world would completely unhinge, and I would be left fluttering around in a pool of profound grief that became my permanent autumn shadow.

Recalling the eight years of robbed autumn color, I appreciate the reawakened awareness of the hues. Consequently, they will never represent the same brazen fire irons they once did. Long lost are the years when the children were young, and we sipped fresh steaming apple cider that wafted through our sunny kitchen with an aroma that was a recipe to create optimistic dreams that seemed as real as finding the perfect fit in a new pair of lace-up sneakers.  

Of course, some memories can be like leaves running their final course and dropping silently like dribbles of rain, composting and disappearing into the good earth. Clearly, in the cycle of life, there are new seeds to sow, harvest and grow.

Time takes time. There are no magic seeds that bloom instantly. From November 2nd, 59 days remain until the end of the year when the earth is frigid and stubborn. From there, all we can do is mull around in the new year and wait until spring softens the ground. Live a day at a time. Drink steaming hot cocoa to compensate for winter’s barren wasteland and warm us with the faith of knowing we have passed another day of life’s test, and we are in the process of learning an important lesson: patience. Colors may fade, strip and vanish, but year after year, cycle after cycle, the master painter’s palette is infinite.

Faith Muscle

10 thoughts on “Color 🎨 Outside the Lines

  1. Wow, Stacy, so many of your descriptive words pierced my heart. I also have an “autumn shadow.” And I have described my grief as “there was no color in the world, only shades of gray.” I was amazed when I did see color again many years later, which it seems happened for you, as well.
    But so many dates are indelible in my mind also that are related to the end of my marriage. It’s so strange how I once had another life. And also – what a different person I was back then.
    I just love how you write. The words flow so beautifully and I understand every word because I’ve lived through it, too.

  2. Stacy, your words always touch my inner being. I was fortunate that I had a wonderful human being as my husband but. he died very young.when he was fifty three years old . As Tennyson said,”it is better to have loved &lost than never to have loved at all “This pain of divorce hurts and disappoints you so much specially if you have children.You can neither share your sorrows[ death of a son] nor joys with that person. Though regret can be difficult to handle, it helps you to grasp life and relationships better.Every experience is meaningful both positive & negative- a learning curve in our evolution till we merge with the divine.
    You are a strong person with faith in the lord and trust in self which are our greatest human life.Let us draw support from each other till we meet in person..

  3. I know, right?
    I find your writing style so beautiful! It draws me in, but then I think to myself: “is it okay to call something so laced with pain, beautiful?”
    So. poetic pain seemed fitting.
    I hope you never take offense for any of my comments. They are always from a place of love, and in no way I would ever want to make light of your pain. ♥♥♥

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