Through Latitude and Sunglasses
Hi! I’m Sasha and I’m really happy you’re here to read my piece. I love writing these, and sometimes I write them and forget to publish them, so thank you for understanding that I’m a bit forgetful at times.
If you’d like to share my piece with someone else who is as infatuated with the changing of seasons, I would love that.
The color of travel evolves. With time and latitude, with season and sunglasses. It shifts as the sun sets earlier or rises later.
The color of travel changes when the dew perches on grass blades, and when the crispiness of parched pine needles splay out on dry mountain paths.
On the darkest days of travel, I stretched beneath the navy-flowered quilt of our bed, typing away at my laptop, wishing for sunshine and warm days. But the dark gray days were matched equally with resin-thick dark coffee and amber-liquored evenings.
The burnt sienna days of travel were rarely long enough. The orange-redness of Moab dirt staining my clothes, my dog, my shoes. On the red days, the red nights, I found myself lingering outside...everything the color of spiced Rogan Josh: curry powder, cayenne, turmeric. But this dish is better eaten on the green or brown days of travel.
It is better in the greenness of Tennesee spring or in the dank brown Oregon winter. The brownness. The waxy-scented Crayola crayon color of forest green. If I could ever smell colors, they are brown and green. Wet earth. The stench of my dog wading into murky creeks. The melted chocolate pasted in the interior of my green day pack.
There are tiny slips of purples and pinks in my travels: in the sunsets across Quartzsite and the Californian Bay and the coast of Louisiana, but they are short-lived. The edges of these warms and cools blend quickly, and disappear just as fast. City murals draw on these colors: fuschias and violets to stand out in the sea of gray buildings and rusts of brick.
I want to say that there are a lot of yellows while traveling because it feels like there is, but when I close my eyes, it’s never much yellow. It’s the beige of sand. The tan of wheat fields. The tangerine of desert sunsets. The blueness of the sky, with sunshine warming my pinkish skin. There are probably a lot of yellows for other travelers: those who spend time in sunflower and goldenrod fields watching hot air balloons rise over green pastures.
There were, however, bits of gold. The golds of cicadas molting that we had never seen before.
Frothy, choppy blues of the ocean. Sweet skies embellished by dark birds.
Iridescent silver in the salt bays where we harvested our own salt.
And there are also shades:
White. The reflection of the moon on the bright sand outside Joshua Tree on a November night. The little bit of snow that blanketed Tennessee so briefly in December. Pine sap once it crystalized.
Gray. The sky of Dallas during thunderstorms in February.
Black. The sharp darkness of late-night dog walks nights in Maryland and Arkansas, my eyes never adjusting but searching for a pinprick of light in the dark road ahead. The ash on my hands after making smores, the grease after working on the engine of our motorhome.
A rainbow of travel. The colors of travel evolve. Now that it is October, the days will become less Crayola green: more dijon mustard and chewy caramels. It will herald back to the reds of Utah. And soon, the grays will creep in again, as they do nearly every winter. The colors of travel evolve. With time, with seasons, with latitude, through sunglasses and perspectives.
Thanks for traveling with me,