When you are trying to describe a certain shade of colors and you say the words “Florida pastels” to a current or former Florida resident, especially one from the east coast, they know exactly the shade of color that you are trying to describe. For the past fifteen years I have been convinced, totally, absolutely, and completely, that Florida pastels were a unique shade of colors captured in a Florida sunset. Only in Florida, only on special occasions, and only to one looking would one find these particular shades of pink, blue, grey, and yellow.
I have carried this certainty with me, willing to bet, argue, and defend its validity for a long time. Today, as the sun faded at the end of a four plus hour snowmobile adventure above the Artic Circle I discovered that I was wrong. Not a little wrong; a big, large, and huge way wrong! The Artic sunsets can have exactly the same shades of pastels that you get in Florida! I never knew. It makes no sense. It cannot be.
In minus thirty-five degree weather, at more than fifty on a snowmobile I sat back was stunned into silence. What was going on? It is far too cold to be Florida! There is no beach or surf. As we walked back to the lodge later Carli was asking about the colors. So it wasn’t a dream. I saw what I saw. But we are not in Florida!
I smiled as every part of my body began to thaw. The sting sensations reminded me of getting a burn at the beach. My windburn cheeks reminded me of the gift the wind leaves after a long walk along the sand. The soft skin that remains reminds me of the afterglow from a swim in the warm waters of Jupiter beach. Yet today was all about bundling up, working the layers of clothing, and keeping things moving.
My puzzle isn’t new.
“‘How can anyone,’ said Nicodemus, ‘be born who has already been born and grown up?’” (John 3.4)
Neither is the answer.