A hope note
My favorite week of the year is the chartreuse one ‘ that handful of days when nature takes off the brown of winter and puts on the dark green of summer.
The trees, for a precious few days in April ‘ between the ‘no longer’ brown and the ‘not yet’ dark green ‘ are a vivid, pulsating chartreuse.
We Homo sapiens have chartreuse times, too.
Unfortunately, we spend much of our life energy in the brown, winter zone, looking in the rearview mirror, grieving the dead past. T.S. Eliot did that in ‘The Waste Land,’ ambushing April as ‘the cruelest month.’
April’s cruelty, to Eliot, is its reminding us of the eternal cycle in which nature has us trapped: ‘breeding / Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing / Memory and desire, stirring / Dull roots with spring rain.’
Did something in Eliot’s life happen in April that besmirched and browned the month forever more for him ‘ maybe a jilt by a sweetheart or the death of a family member? We can understand how that could make April’s glass appear half empty and the beholder cynical.
We waste much life energy waiting, holding out for better terms. We wait for what the showers that wash the earth, extended hours of warm sunlight and the general flowering of the earth portend ‘ summer vacation and outdoor pleasures.
We wait for a future green season when ‘the living is easy.’
Between the brown past and the future green is chartreuse time. Chartreuse is the baby penguin pecking its way out of a shell, the butterfly pushing itself out of a cocoon, the groundhog poking its head out of a dark hole.
Chartreuse for humans is any season we realize it is our nature and destiny to stretch, to grow, to extend ourselves and become something more.