Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Today is a gray day. The skies are full of rain and the fog is giving it that eerie monochromatic look that signals an "inside day." The gray is a non-color...more of an idea than a real color. It is somewhere between white and black...between dry and wet...and between day and night.

Gray days remind me of the in between...of being in suspense...of waiting. They are not celebrated except in poems like "Fog" that we are all required to memorize in English somewhere along the way. The fact that it is undefined puts it in a neutral position...it isn't forced to take a stand...but claims the area between two opposing views.

I know people that love the gray area...they take elements of one opinion and some of the other and live somewhere in the middle. It is the land of the negotiator...of the compromiser...of the politician. It is somewhere that people go to try to temper an extreme or to find common ground. It can be a sliver of difference...or a wide expanse.

Gray is the color our hair turns when it decides that it cannot continue being the blonde, brunette or redhead of our youth...if it doesn't decide just to leave altogether. It signals that time is marching on and can even be seen in the faces of our canine friends as they age. Gray represents wisdom...or simply longevity. It is something that signals the "in between" of youth and our reward.

Gray reminds me of sweatsuits and athletics and laps walked preparing for a 3-Day event. Of the in between of out of shape and fitness. Of seeing the It also reminds me of sunsets, raw oysters, and that time just before dark that found me walking on a beach reliving the day with skin that was tender to the touch looking for shells that had washed up.

Gray is the color of cute baby kittens and whales and dolphins and mice. It is the color of elephants (Roll Tide!) and the unwanted opossum that wandered into our garage a few weeks ago. It is the color of birds and moss, and even the stuff that grows on our leftovers that get shoved to the back of the refrigerator. Apparently God uses gray a lot in his creations to place against the colorful backdrop and make them stand out. Gray is a wonderful accent color in that regard.

It is akin to silver but is also perfect in its vagueness. It requires only a few colors in the Crayola 64 because it is out of mind most of the time. Yet gray is really rarely out of sight. It is the color of stainless steel, and computer printers, and office decor. The speakers in the ceiling that are inconspicuous and the shades that mark our black and white photographs.

Today is a gray day. It is full of promise, but also does not generate excitement. But it is a reminder that sometimes the neutral days can be special, too. That the glorious blues and greens, yellows and pinks of spring are just around the corner...but just not quite ready to make an appearance. For now, the gray is just reflected back in the puddles and the sprinkles of rain on my window and seem to be just suspended between winter and spring.

In time, the gray will turn to blue or to black...and the clouds will be puffy and white. But today we are in the gray area...and that is honestly and truly alright by me...

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