yellow things

Here is my love letter to the color yellow. To marigolds, mustards, and medallions; to honey, flaxen, and canary; to bumblebees, butterscotch, and butter; to lemons, custards, and all shades of sun.

I watched my father paint the trim of our first home a daffodil yellow when I was very, very little.

On sticky summer days, my girlfriends and I would squeeze yellow lemon in our hair and spend hours in the sun waiting for the blonde to come, while dipping our legs in the backyard pool and watching blind beetles dive into the water.

My brother, who is seven years older than me and always acted like it, planted sunflowers outside my window as a surprise. I woke up one spring to a burst of yellow through the window, and their heads moved with the wind, bowing softly.

My first boyfriend bought me a prayer shawl from India the exact shade of saffron rice. When he presented it to me, he wrapped it around my shoulders like a blanket and pretended to take my picture with his fingers: click.

I read Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wall-paper when I was in college.

I found a yellow chair in a thrift store the exact shade of aged paper and put it in my first apartment. It matched the lampshade on the lamp in the corner, the one that never had a light bulb in it.

I drove my little lemonade-colored car across the country to start my life over again in North Carolina. 

The man I love built me a bench so I could sit outside and watch my plants grow. Together we painted it egg-cream yellow. 

When he became my husband, we bought our first home together and painted a corner of our bedroom that same egg-cream yellow.

I’m accumulating yellow things all the time. Moments dyed in sepia, paperback pages aged to bronze. This is my ode to the color yellow, and all my yellow rooms.