I am four years old, standing in front of a large window. I hold in my hand a fan of three translucent acrylic tiles -yellow, blue and red. It feels mystical and important, like a stained glass window in a church. The preschool teacher shows me how to move one tile on top of another. Red slides over yellow to make orange, Blue over yellow makes green. Red over blue, purple. I am mesmerized, exhilarated! I wonder if I can do the same magic with my watercolors at home. I pull them out and try. These colors are muddier and more opaque than the beautiful tiles, but the experiment works. I can make green and purple and orange. I have been initiated into a great secret of science.
I am six years old. It is the first day of first grade, and I am given my first assignment. Color a ball according to instructions - left half red, right half blue. I take out my crayons and select the contrasting colors. I work carefully, making sure to fill the lines without going over. Pressing down hard to get the waxy shine I love. Everyone else is finished by the time I start on blue. I fear I will not be good at school.
I am in second grade. I have moved up to a box of 24 skinny crayons from my set of 8 jumbo sized sticks. This box includes subtle shades like green-blue and yellow-orange, which is my favorite. I am using yellow-orange to draw a picture in the backseat of the car when my head begins to feel strange. I think I will vomit. I lie down in the backseat, dropping my crayon on the little ledge between the rear window the the back bench seat. It melts into a wax puddle, permanently staining the carpet covered ledge. I feel sick whenever I see it. I hate yellow-orange.
I am in third grade and I have a box of 48 crayons. There are beautiful, exotic colors in this box, like thistle, goldenrod and cornflower blue. Some of the students have boxes of 64 crayons. That would be nice, I think. But my box has gold and silver, the fanciest colors of all. I am content.
I am a newborn in eternity, disoriented and overwhelmed. It is time to meet the Father. I find myself before His throne, not daring not look up. I cast my eyes down, around, anywhere but His face. My vision is filled with color, a full circle rainbow which never seems to end. I recognize colors from earth, but I can see beyond them in both directions. Infrared, ultraviolet, radio waves, microwaves - I see them all in their glory. I am breathless, agape. I hear the Father laughing with joy, the way He did when I was four, holding the tiles in my hand. He has secrets to share which will fill all eternity.