On swings, rainbows, and indigo endings

On the upper level of my home, we have a three-season porch. It's fashioned after the porches popular in Colorado Springs in the late 1800s, peaceful spots where tuberculosis patients rested on beds while soaking up the fresh, restorative mountain air.

Ours is a three-season porch, with no insulation protecting the space from cold. Meaning, we don't access the room in the winter. Come spring, though, the porch door is opened—and our indoor swing firmly attached in the doorway.

indoor swing on three-season porch

My grandsons and other young-at-heart visitors love the indoor swing. I love the swing, too, and enjoy a few minutes of to-and-fro on a fairly regular basis. Removed from our main living space and high above the ground, with only the treetops visible and birdsong flitting from tree branches on in through the four windows, I find peace and restoration of a different sort as I gently sway back and forth...back and forth...back and forth.

As I took an impromptu turn on the swing the other day—a break I couldn't resist while picking up toys and such after Bud's week in my care—I noticed on the bookshelf before me a book I'd given my mother-in-law decades ago. When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple was one of the many belongings that became mine again when Jim and I, along with several of his siblings, boxed up their stroke-stricken mom's possessions and moved her permanently to a nursing home.

when i am an old woman i shall wear purple 

What caught my eye as I pumped my legs to keep the swing in motion were pieces of paper peeking from the top of the book, the torn scraps and receipts my mother-in-law used to keep track of her favorite pages.

I halted the swing, plopped off the seat, and picked up the book. The paper scrap marking one entry included a handwritten "It's wonderful!" notation. Another saved the place of an amusing ode to Paul Newman, a favorite actor of my mother-in-law.

The last scrap marked this, the final poem of the book:

life's rainbow by sheila banani 

I like to imagine Granny—as family and friends, regardless of age or relation, call Jim's mom—favored that poem as she considered herself smack dab in the "middles." Retired from the day-to-day of parenthood when I gave her the book twenty years ago, Granny's life revolved around being a beloved grandma and great-grandma to dozens upon dozens. Those related by blood as well as those forever bound to her when she tutored at the local Lutheran school, taught that Jesus loves the little children in Sunday school.

The "kiln of hot hope" of the early years had cooled, yet Granny knew she had countless years ahead to live, to share the good, the bad, the hard-earned and hope-filled lessons she'd learned. Not only with her children and grandchildren, but with the greats and great-greats to come, too.

I like to imagine Granny marked that poem with the rectangular scrap as midlife's copper and yellow—her forever favorite color—warmed her heart, got her through cold days.

Mostly, I prefer to believe Granny continues to see and feel only the coppers, the yellows, and the occasional greens. That in her mind and heart and memory she's still in the middle. And that she has no inkling of the relentless, confounding, all-consuming fog surrounding her and locking her into an indigo limbo we who miss the Granny that's Granny never, ever imagined possible.

Today's question:

What color (from Sheila Banani's poem or not) symbolizes your current life stage?