I am not very fond of my small, old bathroom. This old water closet is about 2.5 meters in length and 1.5 meters in width. It is almost completely covered with a grayish white tile. It is windowless. The light switch and electrical socket look like they have been to war and back again. The storage space in this tiny privy is located below the vanity. It includes all of four pint-sized white drawers and a compact space behind two white cabinet doors that feel like they will come off in your hands when you try to open them. Once you open them, the smell of musty wood hits you straightaway. I added one of those functional metallic shelves that fits behind the toilet, which holds three gray baskets filled with creams, lotions, make-up, and medicines. This loo fits the shower, toilet and sink.
A purple sink.
I had never seen a purple sink before. I’ve seen yellow, light blue, gray, turquoise, mint green, red-wine, black, and, of course, white sinks. I had never seen a purple sink. Not like this one. I have to admit, this purple sink makes my time in this space tolerable, maybe even enjoyable. This purple sink pushed me to paint the one small patch of wall not covered in tile. This space behind the bathroom door is now, you guessed it, purple. This purple sink made me hang one of my grandmother’s Scandinavian souvenirs off of the ugly metallic shelves. This painted ceramic piece has a Scandinavian woman dressed in purples and yellows. She is surrounded by purple flowers and birds. She makes me smile.
Today, as I was routinely using this purple sink, my eyes wandered and noticed that my make-up bag is velvety purple, my mouthguard container is purple, my make-up wipes are in a soothing purple package, my toothbrush is purple. This sink seems to be spreading its color. And then it hit me. Purple.
Purple reminds me of a frozen grape drink, which I always used to enjoy during my childhood. It reminds me of the living room setting of a comedy series that always makes me laugh. It reminds me of dinosaurs and fairies that made my daughters imagine when they were young. It reminds me of a dear friend who gave me my first purple pen and taught me to grade in purple (it reduces student anxiety). It reminds me of plums and my plum tarte-tatin, which my friends love for me to bake. It reminds me of Purple Rain. It reminds me of lavender and hydrangeas. It reminds me of a wine glass stain, left over after a wonderful after-dinner conversation.
All of these “purples” are the color to what could be a colorless life. If we allow ourselves to focus on the gray, the small, the falling apart, the windowless, we can easily stop noticing the purple sink. There is always a purple sink we can look for, regardless the circumstance in our life. We just have to make sure we take the time to notice it. When we do, its color begins to seep into other circumstances of our lives. Before you know it, purple is everywhere and the gray, old and windowless don’t seem that bad anymore.