Green exists between blue and yellow on the rainbow. It’s odd think that the rainbow might be a few kilometres away but the green is only a colour of the light with a 495–570 nanometre wavelength. It isn’t possible to be sure how far away a rainbow might be because it really only exists in your head. The rainbow is dimensionless, having no weight, size or physical manifestation. Your eye is what receives the rays of light refracted by the millions of droplets of water as they fall from the sky. Transience amplified. But the green is real.
It’d odd to have grown up in a country known for ‘Green, green, forty shades of green’ and to have no snakes or lizards. This oversight became obvious while travelling in Europe where many associate the colour green with sneaky, reptilian threat. The snake in the grass.
Yet green is a sociable colour. Grun, grene, grass and grow are roots of the word in English. Lush is the green in the Algerian flag. Venus was the green god of Roman gardens and vineyards. Green is today the symbol of an aspiration to preserve the planet as it once was. Green is arguably too little, too late.
Walk the green forests. Eat your greens. Watch out for jealousy. Shrek is green, perhaps acceptably so because the fairy, the leprachaun and the pixies are associated with an Emerald Isle.
Green is botanical. Food. Life affirming. Harmony. Generosity. Loyalty. Gossip. If you don’t like green, perhaps you are antisocial or aloof.
I like green. And I don’t mind snakes but that’s easy to say since St Patrick is reported to have flushed them all out of Ireland during his forty day fast amidst the forty shades of green.
Lá Fhéile Pádraig.
Further reading: The Complete Color Harmony (2017) by Leatrice Eiseman