Starved of color

I don’t think I should be posting right now. I should be finishing up on the histology lab book due Friday, or studying for the cell bio MCQ exam on Thursday… but I’m far enough ahead on both of those that I feel justified in taking a little break. Which will also include leaving the flat and visiting the Grassmarket to buy our weekly farmer’s market bread. (mmmm so tasty… and so conscience-friendly!) I think the farmers are going to start recognizing me as the girl who can’t make up her mind every Saturday. (It’s definitely not my fault though–they make so many different kinds, and they all smell so GOOD!!!)

Anyway, back to why I signed on today.

This morning, I was greeted on Facebook with a tag  on a photo by my new Mami (!!) of an absolutely exquisite yellow Paphiopedilum of some sort.

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The photo Mami sent.

Isn’t it stunning?! (The orchids of India never fail to impress.)

Since the first look, I have gone back to the photo several times in an almost obsessive manner, and by now have been reduced to basically staring at it in all its glory.

This flamboyant, fabulous orchid has stirred up in me a kind of feeling I have not experienced in an unforgivably long time. Its colors drew me in and reminded me in a very real way of the kind of vibrant beauty I want to be able to surround myself in someday, once I’ve worked my way through vet school and whatever other stepping stones lie in wait.

(Or maybe.. could I possibly cross those stepping stones from a warmer, more tropical location? This is something that must be looked further into in a few years..)

Don’t get me wrong–I love Edinburgh. Despite what the locals all have to say about it, it is much warmer here than it is back home, and it’s most certainly NOT wetter. Damper, maybe–particularly in the morning and evening (with that fog that barrels in)–but definitely not stuff-falling-from-the-sky wetter. Or sludgy-brown-snowy-mess wetter, as a matter of fact.

And it’s absolutely gorgeous here–you can’t argue with the ever-proud, ever-watching dignity of the Castle, or the looming, brooding, craggy romance of the Hills. This city is weathered, ancient, and rather rough-edged, but in a strangely charming, beguiling sort of way (much like the Scottish culture itself, if we’re going to be honest). I count myself lucky for every stroll down the worn cobblestones between buildings older than the States by a long shot of several centuries.

That said, I miss colors. (No, I am not adding the ‘u’ they employ here.) Not that New Jersey had much of that to offer either, but I know now that I really took for granted that bright, persistent sun that provided us that comforting (although fleeting) warmth on even some of the coldest of snowy days. Not only did it remind us that yes, the sun and its heat do continue to exist somewhere in the world, but it apparently also allowed us to go on seeing the vibrance of things, be it the evergreen of the hardy foliage, the crimson of the poinsettia, the cyan of the clear winter sky, or even the cocoa of the soggy earth.

I miss the sun. I miss it so bad. I miss the energy and vividness it bestowed upon every scant bit of color that popped against the otherwise muted, harsh background of white, grey, and indiscriminate browns.

I miss the Orchid Society, too. I miss the near-obnoxious displays of color that would grace the “in-bloom” table–the ones that would leave me slobbering for hours over [usually expensive] tiny, pathetic green stalks full of suspended promise. I miss the sheer, overwhelming brilliance of ten, twenty, thirty orchids in bloom on one table, hues clashing all at once and yet together creating the sort of ethereal, glorious beauty that can only be attributed to the laws of biological science.

 

I decided today, after staring for an inappropriate period of time at the photo of a single yellow orchid, that I have to do something about the muted context in which I’ve been carrying on my life in the past few months. After this week, as a reward for finishing the semester, I’m going to decorate. I am now officially on the hunt for splashes of natural vividness with which to breathe life into this Edinburgh flat. Clearly, as I have learned in the past three months, nothing but the hardiest of houseplants will thrive on our windowsill, so I’m just going to have to refresh this little living space by some other means. Things should never be allowed to get as bad as to the point where the photo of a yellow orchid nearly blinds me with awe (and overexposure).

I’m going to figure out how to liven things up in here. I’d order some lovely shade-loving orchid species to keep, but I know I’ll get attached and I can’t bear the thought of having to part with them in five years’ time. (Maybe I should research what it might take to be allowed to ship orchids internationally… five years of orchid growing is an awfully long time to waste..)

Either way, I’m definitely getting some color in here!! Five years is a long time to live in the dark.

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