Last year, I took a writing class for the first time. I loved sharing space with other writers, offering up our work, listening to and giving feedback. But I also loved the occasional prompts our teacher would throw out there, creating semi-structured time for free writing.
One of my favorite prompts was simply to write – quickly – about everything that came to mind that was a certain color. The results were stunning: nostalgic and immediate, poetic and straightforward. Every single one was different, and as we read aloud what we’d just put on paper, I was struck by the complexity of story in our varied lives: one word could bring forth so much.
I found myself thinking of that this week as I looked around and noticed the color green again and again. It popped up in unexpected places – a convenience store, for instance – and in the places I’m used to, which are mainly outdoors. I imagined that today I would take the time to write about what green means to me, what it has meant to me.
(The thick crunch of Bermuda grass in my aunt’s front yard; the smell of a fresh, near-wet dollar bill; the wide and waxy leaves of Hawaii, drops of afternoon rain landing with a steady, resonant thud.)
Yet this morning is rushed, and so that will wait for another day. In the meantime, I’ll take my green of the world into the day, seeking it out, training my eyes. Could I keep a count, I wonder? Could anyone? If you attempt it, please let me know – or better yet, set the timer for five minutes and scribble down everything you can remember, everything you can think of, that is that delicious color.