You stand on the edge of your life, looking back. Through the blue haze of memory you see your childhood amongst cool ferns and vibrant dandelions. Your teenage years resonate with spruce and denim and navy. The falling in and out of love years are aquamarine and gold and stone, eventually settling on emerald. They eventually fade to an olive butter azure. Your life is full and colorful, and yet, something seems missing. You shrug it off and turn back to finish your days wandering in the quiet indigo pines.
As you wander, a stranger ambles toward you, wearing an overcoat of many hues. He stops in front of you, and you are compelled to stop your wandering to look at his strange overcoat. He is looking directly into your eyes, and you flush, and cast your eyes to his hairline. He looks at you with a half-smile, tilts his head, and nods. His hand moves into the pocket of his many-hued overcoat, and he pulls out a pair of spectacles. They are rusty and the lenses are cracked and smudged, and you wonder how he can possibly see anything out of them.
But he is not putting them on, he is offering them to you.
“Put them on,” he says.
Your eyebrow lifts in question, but your curiosity is piqued. You take the spectacles, opening the arms carefully, lest they break. When they are fully open, you lift them to your face.
Your chest inhales sharply, and you begin to wheeze. What magic is this?
The stranger’s overcoat is not many hues, it is many colors that you have never imagined even existed. It is a veritable riot of color, and it burns your unadjusted eyes with its brightness.
You rip the glasses off your face, and stare at the stranger, holding the spectacles out toward him with quivering fingers.
“What is this?”
“It is color. It is what you have been missing all your life and you didn’t even know,” he says, his eyes tender towards you. “You have been blinded to the full color around you, and have seen your life only in the barest of hues.”
You blink, and bring the spectacles back to your face, this time tucking the tips carefully around your ears. You lower your hands, and look at him again.
He begins to point at various parts of his coat. “This is scarlet, mahogany, ruby, periwinkle, amethyst, mauve, tangerine, rust, amber.”
You take it all in, mind exploding.
He speaks again. “Turn back and look at your life.”
Obediently, you turn around, and find your life much more colorful than you ever knew. And through it all, you see a flame rippling through each of your days, beginning in your youngest years. It is crimson red and fiercely yellow and giddy with orange, and it curls and undulates through your life, bringing more beauty and meaning than your mind can take in.
“What…what is that?”
“That is the Source of all color. He has been with you, holding out joy and satisfaction and connection and peace and goodness and bliss.”
“Why have I not seen him?”
“Because you did not put on your glasses.”
You blink. Your glasses? He points to your pocket. Your fingers tremble as you slide them into the pocket of your denim jacket. There, under the detritus of a life busily lived, is something that feels smooth. You grasp it and pull it out, shaking it slightly to uncover it from the grime. A shudder moves from your upper arms to the deepest parts of you as you recognize what you hold.
Spectacles. Not worn and cracked, but underneath the dirt quite new and unscratched.