The Surprise of Purple

Walking, I drew my hand over the lumpy
bloom of a spray of purple; I stripped away
my fingers, stained purple; put it to my nose,

the minty honey, a perfume so aggressively
pleasant—I gave it to you to smell,
my daughter, and you pulled away as if

I was giving you a palm full of wasps,
deceptions: “Smell the way the air
changes because of purple and green.”

This is the promise I make to you:
I will never give you a fist full of wasps,
just the surprise of purple and the scent of rain.
~Kwame Dawes “Purple”

But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

~Jenny Joseph from “Warning”

Blazing in Gold and quenching in Purple
Leaping like Leopards to the Sky
Then at the feet of the old Horizon
Laying her spotted Face to die
Stooping as low as the Otter’s Window
Touching the Roof and tinting the Barn
Kissing her Bonnet to the Meadow
And the Juggler of Day is gone

~Emily Dickinson “228”

I haven’t anything purple to wear – never have. It’s not that I don’t like purple – I do. I just have never felt worthy to be adorned in it like the sky and flowers and fruit.

Perhaps my reluctance to wear purple is that it represents the rich and royal … yet also the bruised and battered … all at once. I know One who was both and took a beating for me in place of me.

A surprise in His gift of purple to us all.

4 thoughts on “The Surprise of Purple

  1. Oh, what glorious riches we have simply in God’s gift of color. Thank you for connecting God’s royalty and God’s bruising with the only act that could make the hearts of those He’s cleansed and redeemed white as snow when He looks on them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A feast of purple. Lovely and warm.
    At one time, it was very popular among us older gals. (Remember when ladies used a purple rinse to highlight their stark white hair?).
    I know the entity to whom you refer — He is my most trusted Friend who always has my back and loves me as no other ever could….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I once read purple is the colour of healing; another time that purple has been the colour of grief. When my daughter, who wore her hair electric blue or vibrant pink moved four thousand kilometres away we mixed those two colours together and dyed my hair purple. For remembrance. And grief. And healing.

    Liked by 1 person

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