I love orange! Let me tell you the ways …

I love when an orange sunrise peeks over the horizon to wake me up, gently parting the curtains on my bedroom window. And then, POW! A blazing orb bursts on the scene, spilling golden-yellow rays through each east-facing window. What a kickstart.

I love the orange in an orange and the healthy boost it provides. As January rolls around and then February sneaks in, my outlook becomes bleak. The old adage proves true: As the days get longer, the cold gets stronger. I am besieged, pasty-pale, suddenly desperate for citrus. I buy bags of orange and yellow-orange and pink-orange and red-orange fruits, filling bins in the fridge and bowls on the tables to overflowing. We can’t possibly eat them all (although we try) but they make me happy just by being there, in all of their orange-ness.

I love that orange enhances every season of this wonderful old world. It is generously invested in the fruits of fall and winter — plump pumpkins, hardy squash, sweet potatoes, even ‘Indian’ corn, with its calico flair. Beta-carotene in abundance! It resurfaces in the spring and lingers well into summer in the sweetness of apricots, nectarines, peaches and tea roses. Wildflowers, like the brown-eyed Susan, ‘Indian’ paint brushes, sunflowers, and sassy lilies, provide a POP! to the landscape and sustain us until the next harvest. I think orange is God’s way of saying, “Well, hello again. So glad you noticed. I just love to see you smile.”

I love that a perfect ending to a day is also orange. I wait for a pristine sunset like most people wait for Christmas. Our home is positioned so that they are easy to miss but most days, I am paying attention, hoping orange will show up to say good-night. It’s a satisfying end cap: relaxing in an Adirondack chair scooted up next to the fire pit, a glass of wine in hand as a deep orange-rosy-red glow skims the hedgerow and stretches out across the back forty. Sweet.

Not all orange is created equal, of course. Although I have empathy for the homeowner on a budget, bright orange wall-to-wall is risky. (To say the least.) Cafeteria-orange is seldom on the savvy decorator’s color palette. (I discovered this the hard way.) Pylon orange is never to be used on clothing. (A co-worker’s epic fail.) Burnt orange works best organically. (Stay away from crushed velvet.) In fact, we should take a tip from the Creator: orange is an accent color. Save yourself! Buy an orange handbag! (Or shoes! or a belt!) They’re so in right now. And for once, I’m ahead of the game.

~René Morley

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