As host of my fellow Spiritual Journey writers on the first Thursday of this new month, Bob Arjeha asks: What colors make up your life? Do you shine bold…? Are you a more quiet light…? Are you a combination of both? What colors do you shine so that others may follow?
How creative, Bob. Thank you for providing such a compelling lens…
It’s not a color I’d automatically choose to represent myself.
But then again, I have a hard time saying what my favorite color is. I love red for its bright power and cheer (think cardinals there by the roadside, bits of brilliant crimson against the drab gray-brown backdrop of winter, without snow). I love shades of coral for its vitality and unexpected freshness. I am drawn to neutral tones, grays, browns, taupes, creams, black and white, as far as a wardrobe goes, for they can be endlessly mixed and matched with every other color. I took a color personality test once and was told I am gold, which is quite gratifying on a number of levels, considering its value and connotations of endurance, faithfulness, and love.
I come at last to green.
It does not come readily to mind as one of my life’s colors.
For most of my life, in fact, I didn’t even appreciate that my birthstone is green. Why couldn’t it have been the lovely pale-purple alexandrite of June? The costly, iridescent-sparkling diamond of April? The fiery opal of October? I absolutely love opals…but no, my birthstone is an emerald. As a child I took a little consolation from Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz, but still… I didn’t love the color. Aside: children today do not know what their birthstone is. I remember poring over catalogs as a child, studying birthstones. Women proudly wore mothers’ and grandmothers’ rings bearing stones for every child and grandchild. I memorized the birthstone, modern and traditional, for every month.
I was given a little emerald necklace as a child (by Grandma, I think), and my Grannie bought me a simulated emerald-and-diamond ring for my tenth or eleventh birthday. Both pieces of jewelry have been lost over the years. I liked having them, but…green wasn’t really “my color”.
As a child of the 70’s, avocado green was a staple of home decor. Our telephone (with a wildly long cord that I stretched infinitely longer as a teenager) was this color. The panels on the front of my childhood house were this color. For years my dad owned only two suits, one polyester and one brushed suede, and they were both green. I didn’t like either one of them. My childhood bedroom had dark green carpet (and blue walls); my cat had kittens under my bed and Daddy had to cut away a good bit of that rug. My first car, a hand-me-down, was army green (an LTD Ford the size of an army tank; in those days, five bucks of gas would get you through the week). My high school colors were green and gold; most kids chose an emerald-green stone for their class rings. I chose pearl.
Why, then, does the color come tapping on the backdoor of my mind now, calling, Hello, it’s me, Green; I am important in your life. Let me in-?
How do I know Green is up to this, you ask?
Because of my dreams.
As a writer, I’ve learned to capture intriguing images for use later. My dreams are typically vivid. I know there’s much fascinating symbolism to them that I’m not able (and probably really don’t want) to analyze. I think of Jung. I recall the mighty gift of dream interpretation in the Bible. I decided to record my more compelling dreams in a journal. I’ve been astonished by several recurring patterns and images…including the number of times green has appeared in my dreams.
For the record, green isn’t always positive; we know it can represent illness, poison, envy, and even evil. Let’s go ahead and get that acknowledgement out of the way.
The rich, deep green in my dreams doesn’t manifest itself in any of these ways. At all.
a friendly crow coming to see me and dropping a mysterious green ball (—stone?—fruit?) into my hand
vivid green grass growing on patches of barren ground
vast vivid green fields, going on and on
rich green leaves of trees at night, where owls are perched and calling
more than one dream of cicadas (which I love) with shiny emerald-green shells; in one dream, the yard was full of them, and they seemed to be burrowing in the ground. I so wanted to linger and watch…
There is more, but a couple of things are obvious: the green in these dreams is that of living things. It is the color of life, of nature, of growth. The cicada connection is one of my favorites; these green creatures represent fidelity and resurrection. There are clear overtones of wisdom beckoning in these dreams. Of being given some kind of gift. Of restfulness and rejuvenation: He maketh me to lie down in green pastures… of cycles and endurance and sustainability. Of being sustained. Green is the color of abundance and well-being and comfort. It makes me think about how we really don’t live as close to nature as we should, and what a terrible price we pay for that. I really didn’t recognize this great pull of nature at the core of my existence until I started writing consistently several years ago, and that’s when nature began revealing inextricable interconnectedness to human life on a spiritual level…just now I think of evergreen trees, enduring winter.
It is the color most often present in my dreams, by far. I may not have chosen it but it has chosen me, and I have come to treasure its significance in my spiritual life. I believe it is connected to my writing as well…for wring is a deeply spiritual activity. Green is, after all, a combination of blue, the color of sky and sea, and yellow, like the sun…life and eternity. Come what may, I shall go on. I know in Whom I trust. While I live, let me use the gifts given to me wisely and well.
Speaking of which: At Christmas my husband gave me a beautiful emerald necklace. He’d forgotten it was my birthstone; he chose it as a symbol of our Irish roots. I was wearing it when his sister came to exchange gifts… without any clue that her brother had given me the necklace, she gave me emerald earrings in the exact same shade, plus a jacket to match.
As it has chosen to wrap itself around me so…. let me be an open door, a window, to a world rippling infinitely rich and green with possibility.