Looking around my newly-decorated living room, I am appreciative of all the orange. Coupled with the gold and browns, it really looks like autumn in here. The leaves I have tread in from outside on my walks from the bus add to the hominess and seasonal vibe. I used to hate orange – the color of the itchy polyester uniforms we had to wear in high school to signal we had a game that day. I was a proud athlete, but remember feeling insecure because I looked horrible in bright pumpkin (though who among us white kids looked good in it?), and nothing really matched on the bottom. I hated to go to class feeling ugly, but I did all in the name of school pride.
My generalized aversion to orange that arose from seeing it only as a wardrobe color continued for decades, until a few years ago it welcomed me as a fine choice for a publication on Youth Empowerment and Participation in Mental Health Care I was responsible for in my last job. Actually, I wasn’t the one who suggested the palette; instead it was a braver colleague who I admired and had deep affection for who showed a genuine enthusiasm for the color. Her design genius brought forth the beauty of orange.
Slowly, orange won my favor as I realized how much it could change and adapt in its warmth. I prefer the reddish and more burnt varieties, reminiscent of fire and Gerber daisies. My carpet, a throw pillow from Vietnam depicting a lotus in full bloom (the symbol of enlightenment), and a painting by a friend all show off its strengths in my home. So does the bright stripe hand-woven down the center of a brown Omani area rug that leads into the kitchen. Even a wilting tiger lily on the dining table brightens up the room. I just realized, as I was posting this, that the rich sunset picture of my blog fits the theme. I shall do my best to welcome the season of darkness with the support of orange, welcoming the blues and greens back when the sky and gardens are ready to return again.