Spartan Living

It is interesting to note, when you travel, what things you miss and how their absence affects you. You only pack the bare necessities, and you find you can get along fairly well without so many things we take for granted in our own homes. To be sure, even the pared down things we squeezed into the Mazda 5, would be considered wealth in many countries! But what I found myself saying to my oldest daughter yesterday, is that I MISS COLOR!

College dorm apartments have never had the reputation for being colorful spaces. Ours is no exception. All walls are off-white and all trim is wood-brown as well as the cabinets in kitchen and bathroom. Even the furniture is brown, with an aged teal colored fabric.

I find myself longing for the cheery yellows, soft blues and greens of my own home. Color makes such a difference to me…almost like it’s a vitamin, or a lens for seeing my world, or, well… I can’t really articulate what it is.

But what I DO find, in the absence of color, is that my eyes go searching for it. A hungry hunting for spots of color so my eyes can zoom in and feast, or… snack. A stroke here, a splash there…in the umbrella, the shoes, the red button on the coffee pot. The lime green backsplash is wonderful! It’s the most color in the whole place! I think it may have actually been avocado from the 70’s and faded to this pale lime (which I have exaggerated here in the drawing). And the towels in the bathroom, we bought so that our kids could tell which one was their’s. I chose for each of them their favorite color. The bathroom makes me smile.

My oldest daughter asked me what “spartan living” meant. After a long and lengthy discourse on the subject (which should actually have been described more SPARELY), I began to think that COLOR might be one of the things I cannot live without. Of course, tops on the list are my family and friends. But I think, perhaps side by side with food and water, would be color.

It takes travel, spending time somewhere other than your normal habitat, to realize this for the first time, or all over again, as is more likely the case.

0 thoughts on “Spartan Living

  1. cat says:

    I think when you mentioned noticing the red button on the coffee pot, then I realized that you too live and breathe for color. I think it is right up there next to water and air in the list of my essentials for living. What a wonderful description of how color affects you … and what a relief to know I have a kindred soul.

  2. Timaree says:

    I totally agree!! This could have been my post about living and color. I think color is one of the reasons people feel better when they get outdoors.

  3. marie singer says:

    Very interesting to hear your thoughts….I can’t live without the outdoors…I need to look at it, and feel it….the wind, sun, cold, hot, and I need to hear it…the birds, the wind again, the pines rustling.
    In winter I have to go outside to get my “outdoor fix”.

    This ties in with my need for light and yes, color. Just being there is enough for art inspiration.
    All the Best–

    • jenpedwards says:

      Marie…I am completely in agreement with you on this! I have always been somewhat of a tree-hugged, but in recent years, daily walks have been a must for me. It’s not only for the exercise, but also to breathe in the outdoors, to feast my eyes on creation, to be reminded that I’m part of a much larger world than what’s between my walls. I have a feeling we are quite the kindred spirits! Thanks for sharing!

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