Chaos and overwhelm once filled my vision gray. When the rolling waves came, walls suddenly felt charcoal close and skin glowed steely pale.

Stuffed animals and laundry piles often reached for me with their long dark tentacles, and I panicked, and then the breathing deeply and the closing eyes and remembering truth, and life again would fill with color.

Today, I walked into our basement, and saw the reality of an utter disaster. No way around it. A royal piece of work.

I panicked and saw the tentacles of all that mess shifting under foot and wondered how all that happened between yesterday afternoon and now, and I started scheming a plan that would make it all better, have mercy.

Then I looked more closely.

At pieces of an alphabet puzzle placed ever so carefully on musical instruments and doll laps.

At the zoo on the kids’ table. Lions escaping the entrance. Patient zoo keeper faithfully shoveling the animals’ business. Monkey dangling from a spring green vine. Zebras munching grass happily within their red and yellow flower-festooned fence.

At the Playmobil scuba diver surrounded by his colorful cast of supporting characters. Woman in bright green reflective vest, yellow-haired king, mother in her blue nightie and the ice cream man with his serving apron and its purple, yellow and pink ice cream cone.

Everywhere a riot of color and joy. Like paint explosions of wild, splattered, free.

When the kids return from school, we’ve got ourselves a great mother-daughter project. And later tonight or sometime tomorrow I may feel the crush of another mess and want to hide under a blanket or throw it all the heck away.

But for now, I am thankful I can enjoy this raucous spectrum of life color spilling across every surface like birthday streamers and balloons.

Today for you may color fill a gray space. May your soul know more joy and less fear. May you find delight in the zoo that is your life.

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