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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Orange (the color) (11/19/09)

TITLE: Happiness for Our Souls
By Esther Phillips


What a delight it was to see the pumpkins multiply in the yards throughout our neighborhood as the celebration of Halloween moved closer. Teachers took advantage of this time of year by asking their students at the elementary school to bring two pumpkins to school for a science project. While I don’t know what the science project entailed, I saw these young children struggling to get their one large and one small pumpkin into school. My grandson was among the children who were assigned the task of bringing the pumpkins. After they cleaned out the insides and did their study on them, they returned home with their pumpkins. He told me that they were ready to make jack-o-lanterns now.

He was so interested in the history of pumpkins that we decided to find out more about them. Some of the earliest history of pumpkins in the United States dates back to the 1600’s. We found that on October 21, 2006, The Boston Common, a central park in Boston, Massachusetts, held a “Life is Good Pumpkin Festival.” They set a new record for Jack-o-lanterns that were lit up at one time. Can you believe this? It was 30,128. I don’t know about you, but I have a difficult time wrapping my mind around that many Jack-o-lanterns in one place, not to mention they were all lit up!

Jack-o-lanterns really stand out in the yards of our neighborhoods here on the Gulf Coast. Their deep orange contrasts beautifully against our green grass. However, orange is not for Jack-o-lanterns alone. Orange is the color of fall and reminds us of harvest. One of our neighbors comes to our house each fall with a basket of oranges that they have picked from their back yard trees. The oranges are their gift to us “just for being good neighbors.” There is nothing quite like oranges that have been allowed to fully ripen on the tree. They are so sweet and juicy.

As I set out on this journey of “orange,” it simply would not be complete if I didn’t return to the days that my children were going to school. Their school color was orange. My son’s football uniform was orange, and of course, he had to have a jacket that was orange. Then my daughter came along and was on the drill team. Oh, yes, you guessed it. She had an orange uniform. When we went to a football game, the crowd in the stadium was a sea of orange. One of the definitions I found for the color orange is that it is a stimulant and creates enthusiasm. It certainly did at the games.

Orange is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. That has to take me back to a time when I was on a retreat in Galveston, Texas. We got up before daybreak and stood on the beach with the warm wind blowing against our faces. As the sun rose on the horizon, it was a brilliant red-orange. It reminded me of the words in Malachi 1:11 (NIV) “My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord Almighty.” (Malachi 1:11)

No matter where we find orange whether in pumpkins, oranges, uniforms, or to the rising or setting of the sun, God is there. I think the color orange just might be one of those colors that plants happiness into our souls. What do you think?

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Member Comments
Member Date
Phee Paradise 12/01/09
I love the end of this meditation that makes the color orange a reminder to praise God. Some of your comments in the beginning are a bit obvious. Your descriptions have already made the point and your readers are smart enough to get it.
Sarah Elisabeth 12/07/09
Congrats on placing 6th in Level 2! Be sure to check out the Highest Rankings every week on the Message Boards: http://www.faithwriters.com/Boards/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=55