It had been a long time since I'd worked a jigsaw puzzle, but I bought one recently when I knew we were going to be iced in for a few days. I was at the store to buy soup ingredients and other food to tide us over for the duration. A shortcut from the dog-food section to the grocery aisles took me past the toy department, where puzzle boxes were stacked at the end of an aisle. The colors in this one just reached out and grabbed me:
The after-effects of working a jigsaw puzzle never fail to delight me. While I'm putting it together, and for a day or two after I finish, I see the world differently. Instead of trees, I see the varied colors and shapes of leaves. I notice individual shingles on neighbors' rooftops, smaller ones at the peaks, larger (closer) ones near the eaves. I see shadows, grasses, flowers, woodgrain, chips in paint, spots of rust--all the little details needed to properly place a single, small piece of scenery into its surroundings. It's magical for a brief time, then it fades, and I go back to seeing only the big picture.
Right now the big picture outside my home is mostly shades of beige and gray, some drab greens clinging to the live oaks and long-needle pines, and the sky such a faded shade of blue that it looks as though it isn't even trying. If this scenery were a puzzle, there would be no joy in working it.
That'll change. I browse through my photo files and see pictures of beautiful, bright-colored flowers, shots I snapped in late January and early February in previous years, and they give me hope. They're there, I know, ready to break through the soil as soon as the time is right. All we need is a little stretch of typical Louisiana weather, a few days in a row of warmer temperatures. I think I can wait.
In the meantime, I'll find my color in a box, one piece at a time.