#2 in a Colour Series
I bought a dress with my first full-time pay packet. It was green, a lovely soft, woollen knit dress with shoulder pads. (It was the 80s, after all.) It was a vibrant green with blue-ish undertones, rather than the yellowish greens that wash me out and age me 20 years. That dress made me feel sophisticated, elegant, grown-up, as I entered the world of Wellington’s government departments. I still remember it fondly, even though it is long gone, perhaps particularly because I rarely wear green clothes.
This habit not to choose green is a throwback to my childhood. My mother hated green, for some reason, and wouldn’t wear it. She never told us why, if in fact there was a reason, and now the answer to that mystery stays with her. Her bridesmaids’ dresses though were a delicate mint green, so she must have liked it at some stage. In fact, in her last year, as her memory faded, green appeared again in her life.
So I never really wore green. Except, of course, when I went to school. For four years (and a bit), I attended secondary school in the dark bottle green school uniform. It meant that on the rare occasions when we did venture out into public in something other than our uniforms, it was a relief not to be wearing regulation bottle green.
Yet green – the right green – suits me. I just don’t seek it out, though I have a few items of green clothing. My eyes are green, something that I think about so rarely they surprise me sometimes in the mirror. My current eyeglasses are green too, a shock when I chose them.
Our house, though, has little green inside. It’s not a décor colour for me. But outside, that’s another matter. Our garden is green, with few flowers. It’s easier to maintain, and I like the feel of a lush tropical green garden (though I’m still working on achieving that), here so far from the tropics. The backdrop to my gmail account is a photo of vibrant green ferns, and I even use a very green fern as my header for this site in summer, although – of course – I’ve just changed to my autumn colours.
I adore green in the landscape – the fields below me as an aeroplane takes off in Canterbury, or the welcome sight Italy’s green landscape below me as we flew in from the brown and barren Middle East, where just three weeks in deserts had me yearning for grass and green fields. The rice paddies of Thailand and Vietnam and Bali and the Philippines are a special, vibrant light green, and now familiar sight that makes me happy. I long to go to my ancestral land of Ireland, to see the green fields, to be at home in the green.
Green. You could say it has grown on me.