August 16, 2017

Taking Time to See the Color of Life

By John F. Chisholm •

May 25, 2013 – Color creeps up on me.

I’ve never understood how.

Was it three weeks back?  No, just two weeks ago our fields were only tinged with green.  Last year’s brown grass stubble still reared above the ground, washing other hues.  Drunk for color after a winter of black and white, I concentrated on the pastel tints just appearing.  Pale yellow infused the willow twigs.  The maple buds were tinged with red.  Daffodils bobbed in the breeze, blobs of color painting the air.

But in the intervening weeks all that subtlety escaped.

In this morning’s rain, our fields are vibrant, glowing green, washed iridescent by the weather.  The verdant view is dotted by hoards of dandelions and backed by a spectrum of trees.  Dark green pines contrast with the lighter-colored birches, poplars and elms.  The silver and blue of Piper Brook peeks from in between the leaves.

To think that a month ago it was all ice and snow.

How did I miss the transition?  I shake my head thinking about it.

Like all of us, I was busy.  I put in the garden while humming birds pollinated the lilacs, ruby throats flashing.  I picked fiddleheads and ate dandelion greens.  The spring lambs arrived.  The chicken coop earned its thorough cleaning.  The lawn tractor was readied, blades sharpened, oil changed and belts renewed.  Yet somewhere in the middle of all that dust, flurried activity and the nuts and bolts of spring, winter left and summer arrived ― in fact if not yet in name ― and I missed it.  Again.

I wouldn’t feel so badly except this happens every year.  In fact, being honest, it goes well beyond that.

It happens with too many things.

My daughter starts work with my wife next Friday.  There are two veterinarians in the family now.  How did that happen?  Wasn’t I enduring her dance recitals just last week?  I remember taking her to Brownies, dropping my son off at Cub Scouts and worrying how they’d do in their school plays.

To think that I only enjoy those activities in afterthought.

Because here I sit today admiring our summer fields.  Arthritis troubles me more than ever.  When did that become so prevalent?  My glasses are truant.  Again.  Why do they continually run off like this?

Even spring has come and gone without leaving any remnant of its passing.

How does everything do that?

How can color be all around us and still manage to creep up?