Thursday, May 19, 2011

Greening Up


The world is green, green, green with all the rain we've had lately. We can't keep up with the mowing and weeding. The shade is deep under the trees, and plants seem to be bending from the weight of their greenness. It is not easy now to remember the starkness of winter, and when I look at pictures from just a few months ago, it is like looking at a different country. 

This picture was taken before Larry was able to get out the weed-eater and mower--everything has been so wet. It looks so much better now, but just give it a few days...

And this one was taken just a few short months ago:


Remember those days? Maybe mowing and weed-eating won't seem like such a chore!

Green is associated with new life and luck and yet also with death and misfortune.  In folktales and ballads, those wearing green are returning from death, soon to die, or are otherworldly creatures, like fairies. Even today some people still think it is unlucky to wear green or own a green vehicle; many race car drivers avoid a green car because of bad accidents in the early days of racing.

Green sayings:

“Green December means a full graveyard.” This probably means that a warm December means people are not be prepared for bad weather and are more prone to illness.

“Married in green, you will not long be seen.” This was from the belief that green was a sign of bad luck and death.  In Scotland at one time green considered such bad luck that nothing green was allowed at weddings and no green foods were served.

“A green Christmas, a white Easter; or, a white Christmas, a green Easter.” This is like the saying that rain on Easter means it will rain on the succeeding seven Sundays—something I have seen proved right several times.

 “Never trust a woman with green eyes.” Perhaps because jealousy is the “green monster,” or could she be “green with envy”?

“Green thumb.” In this case, green is good!

“Green around the gills,” A beginner, which doesn’t seem either lucky or unlucky. It also refers to mean someone is ill.

“Greenbacks.” Money, and good fortune, certainly.

“Living green.” Environmentally aware living is a good thing!

I consider green to be good luck. I am always anxious for for fresh lettuce, green onions, and green buds on trees. And the green brings flowers with it, the best reward for waiting through a long winter.

Here is a folktale for this “green” season:

The Fairy Tulips (An English Folk-tale)

Once there was an old woman who raised beautiful tulips. One night she was wakened by singing. She looked out at the window but she could see nothing. On the following night she was again wakened by sweet singing, so she rose and went into her garden. Standing by each tulip she saw a fairy mother who was singing and rocking the flower like a cradle. In each tulip cup laid a tiny baby. The old woman tiptoed back to her house, and from that time on she never picked a tulip.

The tulips grew brighter in color and began to bloom all year round. Every night the fairy mothers sang to their babies and rocked them in the flower cups.

One day the old woman died. The tulip bed was torn up but nothing would grow there again. The fairies sang over the old woman's grave so it was always green. All around it grew tulips, daffodils, and violets, and many other flowers of spring.

6 comments:

Granny Kate said...

Green is our color to represent prosperity and it is also the heart chakra color.

But everything contains its opposite and everything has its season. We can't be living high on the hog all the time or illness and dis-ease sets in. In the winter, the cold weather is needed to kill off disease and keep vermin and insects in check.

Last year, I found a stowaway insect in our basement -- he was of the grashopper family, but not quite a grasshopper (I'm not sure what this fellow is called). He had grown huge, big as a small mouse, simply because he had not died off like his mates and had lived past his season. He represented imbalance. A cricket in the house may be goodluck, but they will chew your linens. I ousted the fellow in April to face whatever future he could make for himself -- and he didn't return to hide again come fall.

John said...

Please send some rain to the semi-arid wastes of Cambridgeshire, England. The trees, shrubs and perennials are doing fine, they've got a decent root system, but the poor little seedlings are crying out for a drink of H2O. Come on, this IS England, the cricket season has started, it's supposed to be raining!

Carolyn H said...

Granny Sue: I have more rain than I've seen 60 years. The forest is green and wet, but too wet to get out into it. Even the dogs won't go into the woods and that's saying something!

Rowan said...

Like John I'm in England and would welcome some (not too much though!) of your rain. We aren't as dry here as Cambridgeshire but it's been a very dry spring.
Green is a colour I like though come to think of it I don't think I have any green clothes. I found Granny Kate's comment interesting and true - and I loved your little fairy tale.

Angel said...

I must say that green is my favorite color. And I had to laugh when I read in the sayings “Married in green, you will not long be seen.” My dress was a loverly hunter green and that was 8 1/2 years ago. ;)

Angela said...

Some good green folklore Granny Sue! I will have to say that the bridesmaid's dresses were a dark Holly green at my wedding almost 20 years ago in December. My niece wouldn't wear a green dress to be in our wedding. Threw a tantrum over not wanting to wear green! lol

That same niece looked at me around the same time and told me I was a witch because all witches have green eyes. My eyes were green that day but I told her they would be brown the next day. I actually have hazel eyes so they change with whatever color I'm wearing. The next day they were brown. I told her to look at my eyes. Freaked her out! lol She was a mean little brat! We got a good laugh out of it and still do!

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