On My Mind: Going “Green”

I recently purchased a new green bag. Most people would call it a purse, but I will just call it a bag. In many ways, this bag is a step away from my last handbag: the old one was practical…the new one makes a statement; the old one was small, providing only enough room for what was needful…the new one is large enough to carry a small dog (which I won’t be doing, by the way); the old one had a strap that was long enough to cross over my shoulder, providing security as well as confidence that it would not fall off my shoulder…the new one has two short straps, providing carrying variety (I can carry it on my shoulder or with my hands); and, finally, the old one was a dull gray with deep orange accents…the new one is my favorite color of green. My new bag is different, is a step out of my comfort zone, and brings a smile to my face every time I see it.

One day, not too long ago, I glanced at my new bag out of the corner of my eye and I immediately thought of my Grandma Barker, who passed away in 1996. When I think of my Grandma, I think of a classy, warm woman who left a great legacy of faith and devotion behind. I have many memories of my Grandma which simply make me smile: cooking with Grandma, shopping with Grandma, having outings with Grandma, doing projects with Grandma, and playing games with Grandma. My green bag brings floods of memories of her because to me, green is my Grandmother’s color–her kitchen counter tops were green, her carpet was green shag, her dishes had flowers on them with green leaves. I even possess beads from one of her old necklaces that are green. Green…green…green. I love it.

I don’t know if green was her favorite color (I will have to ask her someday), but if it was, I am just like her. Green has been my favorite color for many years and I love surrounding myself with it: I have a rocking chair in my room that is green, I used to have brightly painted green walls in my house, I collect things made from green glass, green praying mantids gather like magnets to my house each spring, perhaps 50% of my wardrobe is green, and my eyes are green. You can also find small glimpses of green throughout my house in rugs, paintings, bedding, kitchen gadgets, accessories, and now, in my green bag.

To me, green is soothing. It brings me peace. Green is my happy place. I crave it. I am drawn to it–if I see it at the store, I am more excited to have the color than to have whatever is adorned in it. Having it is satisfying to me. Green makes me smile. Green conjures up deep and treasured memories.

For me, green is not an obsession (as it might appear to the naked eye), but rather, green is healing. It brings something into my life that is refreshing and happy, drowning out the toxic and inevitable sadnesses that come with life. I believe many things can possess a healing power for us. I know that as we seek them out and strive to surround ourselves with these things, we can feel a tangible soothing influence. Healing power can be found in colors, music, pictures, activities, smells, scriptures, places, and beyond. We can surround ourselves with one, two, or many of these healing influences so that at every turn, we are soothed, we remember to smile, we forget what is missing from our lives, and the often negative aspects of life are replaced with something better.

Now, some of these healing influences are obvious and can be grafted into our lives quite simply and without much alteration. However, others may be more difficult to incorporate as they might take us out of our comfort zones. But, just like my new and different green bag, these new and different ideas, while they challenge the norm, just might provide a new opportunity to feel joy and even reminded of the good things in life.


3 February 2010

I’d love to hear what is “green” in your life. What is soothing and healing to you? Share your comments below…

From: Candie
February 8, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Sunshine is my solace! I love to just sit and soak up the sun whenever I can. However, in these bleak winter months that doesn’t happen much. So, while I’m stuck inside, I make sure my home is neat and orderly. This is something that I have control of. There is so much in life that we don’t have control over, that sometimes you just have to take hold of what we can control. Having a clean and organized home makes me feel good when I can look around and feel at peace with what I have done. And hopefully Spring will come soon enough!

From: Shannon

February 10, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Good thoughts, Kerstin. I have been sitting here thinking about what my green would be. I think it is quiet. I love a quiet home; it’s as if I can hear myself more clearly, or feel things more acutely when background noise is absent. No white noise, no radios…just the ticking clock or the humming fridge. To me, quiet is solace from the busy world, the crazy schedules, the demands of attention, the stress of obligations and responsibilities, etc., etc. We don’t always get to choose whether we are in a quiet spot, but when I am able to find myself in one, I feel so…at home, in my element, at peace, able to think and feel and sort through all of the things that are going on. Yes, quiet is my green.

From: Cindy

February 14, 2010 at 10:34 am

I loved reading this post, especially about Grandma, it was nice to hear your memories. I totally remember her green dishes, I can still picture them in my mind! Anyways, for me music and shopping is “green”. Yes, shopping. Grocery shopping, clothes shopping, and window shopping where I have no intention of purchasing anything, because to me it is soothing. I am able to forget about my worries, or struggles as I walk aimlessly through a store. There were many times during the period where we were trying to get pregnant that I would be having a bad day, and I would go to the store, and for no matter how long I was there, my troubles seemed far away. I am able to concentrate on my surroundings rather than my troubles. It might sound silly, and I love shopping anyways, but especially when I need some distraction. And I love music because of its ability to take me to another place. It comforts me and helps heal me.

From: Tami

February 16, 2010 at 12:42 pm

For me my green is music and my cats. When I get really stressed I love putting my headphones in and either singing my heart out (if I’m alone) or just closing my eyes and listening to a beautiful Bach piece. I also love petting my cats and looking into their eyes. Its so nice to give love to something, and feel love in return, even from a pet.


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