In late February, with the heat of the hot season in Thailand almost upon us, we took a 16 hour flight through Xiamen in China to arrive back in Vancouver. We stepped out of the airport into winter. The kids were gleeful to be back on their own ground and thought the cold amusing and novel. But by the time they’d taken the Skytrain and then stood at the bus stop at 8 o’clock at night, they were absolutely freezing. I’d sent my shoes home months before so was wearing flip flops with wool socks. Since it was downtown I merely blended in with the other questionable fashion statements that come and go on Georgia Street on a Saturday night.
The next day we awoke to a completely different colour palette. Outside was an expanse of greys, browns and greens, very unlike the eye-popping colours of turquoise water, periwinkle blue skies and lime green palm leaves that we’d left behind. It was like looking at an artist’s palette with three colours to choose from. The sky was grey, the tree trunks and branches were grey and brown, and the grass and evergreens were dark green. All was subdued and taken from a very different end of the colour spectrum.
Although it wasn’t a beauty that beats you over the head screaming look at me, it was beautiful and entrancing and I stared and stared to fill up my eyeballs with the palette. What was most striking was how completely harmonious all the tones of grey, brown and green were together, and just how many different tones there were. It was like looking at a feast for your eyes – a feast that showed the miracle of the design that we live in. As I looked I wished to appreciate this miracle as often as I could.