Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Green as, well, green

Ever notice how ordinary the word 'green' is? Five letters, and it really doesn't do a very good job. Think about it. I mean, you see the word "purple" and you've got a pretty darn good idea what color that is. It's purple. What else is purple but purple?

But green? What a nondescript word. Which is probably why we have so many different kinds of green. Forest. Celery. Sage. Chartreuse. Kelly. Emerald. Spring. Grass. I'm sure there are more I'm leaving out. And even with those, the words just aren't right. Take Grass Green. Visualize it. Now, really. Does that look at all like green grass? Not in my part of the world. Not right now.

A little less than a week ago I posted about Spring being Spranging, and I could tell because it was warm and the trees were starting to bud. That was last Wednesday. This is Tuesday. Last week the grass was still mostly dead and spring was weather, not color.

Well there's been some explodiating going on. BOOM. Five days. Friday no trees were blooming and no daffodils were out. Today yards and woods are still a sculpture of grey branches, but glowing in absolute full bloom is every tree that puts out flowers. Cherry, crabapple, bradford pear, wild plum, redbud, pink magnolia, dogwood. Wham. Here it is folks!

And today the grass is green. No, it wasn't green yesterday. Swear to God, yesterday it was still mostly brown. Today it's green. And it's not grass green either. It's throbbing, pulsing, almost hard-to-look at. It's shades of neon down to deepest black. If you are so unfortunate as to live in the west or Southwest, you have never seen this green. Today, here in central Missouri, you walk out a door, any door, and you gasp. The eye has been resigned these past months to a muted subtle palate of sedge, tan, grey, and brown overlaid at times with blue white snow. At first, the eye isn't quite sure what to DO with this color. It blinks and tears up a little. A painful green this, for just a moment until the brilliance of it stabs into your soul and you gasp with the exiliration of its glory.

Today, grass is the star. The blooming trees serve a complimentary color to its lushness, but they cannot draw the eye from the green, even in their glory.

Tomorrow or the next day the other greens will show up, building a symphony of harmonics. The acid green of walnut and elm tree leaves. The pinkish beige with the barest hint of sage that is the tiny new leaf of hundred year old whiteoaks.

Today however, has only one green.

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