A Yard Full of Yes


This week my yard bloomed with daffodils. As I admired one – thinking of how it reminded me of a little dancer dressed in sunny yellow – I realized that my yellow daffodils are the exact color of yes.

That may sound strange, but in my mind, some words have colors – which makes a bit of sense if the word represents something that already comes in a traditional color, like grass, which is, yes, green. (Although I know logically that grass is sometimes brown and even when it’s green, it can range anywhere from yellow-green to forest green to nearly blue. My word grass appears in yellowish green, which is hardly original.) But when a word does not have a traditional color, my mind may automatically give it a color. Like numbers: one is baby blue, two is pink, three is yellow, four is green, five is red, six is blue, seven is violet, eight is orange, nine is black. Then there are words like play (lavender) or hope (bluish white) or dinner (dark brown).

So I have a yard full of yes. Which is delightful. Yes is an open door, an open window, open arms, an invitation. Creativity and discovery appear with yes. Yes can set us free.

Yes can be soul-warming. At church, when we celebrate the eucharist – or communion or Lord’s supper as some call it – I tear off a bit of bread, and I’m told, “Christ’s body broken for you.” I dip the bread into wine, and I’m told, “The cup of salvation for you.” As I place the wine-dipped bread into my mouth, I think, “And this is my YES.” I accept, I receive this gift. Yes is a warm, open word.

I do have to admit that in my daily whirl of events, I often add an ochre tint to my bright, hopeful, yellow yes. It comes in the form of the word but. Yes, but . . . my thoughts say. Which slides the whole phrase toward the gray of worry. Worry tilts toward no and often overlooks the yes in my hand. Yes, but I might fail. Yes, but someone might not like it. Yes, but it might be too late or too hard or too risky.

I realize that there is a place and time for no. (Which, btw, is midnight purple.) My one-year-old grandson is learning some important no’s. No, that’s too hot to touch. No, you can’t pull the cat’s tail. No, scissors are not to play with. Of course, the truth is that no is not just for children. A lot of adults are learning the importance of no right now. No can be good. Strangely enough, a good, solid no at the right time can also set us free.

But there’s that yes on the flip side. No, you can’t touch that, but you can touch this. No, you can’t pull the cat’s tail, but you can stroke her gently. No, you can’t use the scissors right now, but you can when you’re older. As for playing with scissors, some day in art class, you might discover that they’re exactly what you need for play.

So I have an abundance of colorful words available to me. But for this week, this day, this moment, I’m going with a yard full of bright yellow yes.

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Text and photos © 2018 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

Window photo courtesy pexels.com.