gentle & kind green
The challenge is to go out for a walk and take 10 pictures, then select one to inspire writing. The catch is you don’t write about the subject, you write about the background. Beth Kephart offers this challenge in Handling the Truth. I found it a disadvantage to know the catch while taking the pictures. I wondered if I would find anything surprising.
The photos sat for nearly a week in my camera roll. When I want to really see, I find it helpful for words (and pictures) to sit for a little while. I didn’t even count this photo as one of the 10, because I’m always taking pictures of this bridge. It shouldn’t be surprising that it is the one to offer me a new perspective.
The sky winks through the tree tops and the sun lights the bridge.
A kind and gentle old man once told me, “God knew what he was doing when he made the world green. Can you imagine,” he said, “if it were any other color? We just wouldn’t enjoy it as much.” We stood in front of a window, just the two of us, and stared at the green outside.
Often I think about the way he enjoyed green: grass green and tree top green and wild flower stem green. He smiled as we stood, noticing the green outside. His smile told me that he knew things about God that I did not.
It was many moons ago, the conversation about green. I’ve had time to imagine what it might be like if God decided on a different color for the world. Daylily yellow or elephant grey or freshly plowed brown. None of them are as alive as summer Oak leaf green.
Did God choose green as the color of the world because he knew we’d enjoy it, as the gentle and kind old man claimed? The Oak leaf green changes to yellow and orange and brown. It falls, leaving bare limbs stretching to the sky. Bud green forms, over and over. Oak leaf green to yellow and orange and brown. Bare limbs. Bud green. I am not the same person I was when I first considered the reason God made the world green.
But, I still wonder about the reason God selected pine tree green and ocean green and corn stalk green.
I can think of no other reason than because God knew we would enjoy moss green and clover green and lemon tree green. If I believe that God created the world green just for our enjoyment, then I must also believe that God is kind.
I enjoy the green of the world while looking at a rainbow in our front yard. I say, “God sure knew what he was doing when he made the world green. Can you imagine,” I ask, “if it were any other color? We just wouldn’t enjoy it as much.”
I smile a kind and gentle smile, much like the one I remember from the kind and gentle old man. I know a secret about God that I did not know before I began enjoying a green world, and it has made all the difference.
I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us. #sosmagic