Saturday, May 16, 2009

Green Mansion

Buds, Wild Columbine
(Aquilegia canadensis)

For so many months out of the calendar year, one traverses the highlands and dreams of other times and seasons. In winter with its endless undulating snow dunes and bare trees, I dream of springtime, summer and autumn, and sometimes in the depths of winter, it seems that springtime will never get here at all.

When the snows begin to melt in late March, the landscape is gray and a dry desiccated brown for several weeks, the still bare trees stark and foreboding and twiggy against the cloudy sky, the woodland ankle deep in leaf fall, tumbled branches and withered grasses. The returning light is fierce and unforgiving, the shadows falling across the trail as sharp as the finest examples of the bladesmith's craft.

Then one fine morning in May's middling pages, one rounds the corner heading toward the gate, and the world before her is green, a thousand shades of vibrant green: apple, aquamarine, beryl, chartreuse, emerald, fir, forest, grass, jade, kelly, lime, malachite, moss, olive, pea-green, peacock, pine, sage, sap, sea, spinach, spruce, verdigris, viridian, willow. Here we are again, living in a dense northern rainforest or jungle, and even our reflections in the Clyde River are green.

Suddenly there are grosbeaks in the overstory singing their hearts out, bluebirds flashing their brilliant blues through the old apple trees, hawks circling in the clear air and proclaiming their satisfaction with the world. If grace and gladness and wildness and life have a color, it is surely green, and a fine thing it is to be walking in the world on such a day.


Anonymous said...

Yes indeed it is a fine thing to be walking in the world on such a day, as you have so nicely said in the last line.

Just beautiful.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful list of green. In Toronto spring came over the course of 2 weeks, from bare trees to full leaf between the end of April and mid-May.

Barbara Anne said...

As a quilter, I love the many, many shades of green and have this versatile color in my home. I echo your words "If grace and gladness and wildness and life have a color, it is surely green ..."

Thank you for this wonderful entry that surely sings! I will remember your words as I walk in the world tomorrow.