Treading lightly the path to enlightenment.

The power of blue & green

Perro linda

There’s some theory, some studies somewhere about how the color of a room can affect its inhabitants.

Red makes people aggressive, they say, pastel yellows are calming. Deep browns are warm and comforting.

I don’t claim to know anything about that, but I do know that green and blue are my favorites, and I’m talking about the green of Earth and blue of the sky. I suppose white fits in there, too, to include clouds and snow. Then again, both clouds and snow are really capable of producing the whole spectrum of color, being made of water droplets, like the ones that produce rainbows, sun dogs and coronas.

Being outdoors and casting my gaze upon green flora, upon the deep blue of infinite space beyond our atmosphere I find calms me, lifts my spirits, helps clear my mind. I’m beginning to believe there is some science behind this, and it probably relates to the “color theory” of interior paint schemes.

These are the natural colors of light that our eyes evolved in, that our brains evolved in. This is normal for eye and brain and mind. Not fluorescent lights and mission white walls. Not burgundy carpets and patterned wallpaper. Perhaps these things are just excessive stimuli. No wonder so many people seem to be wound so tight, so many people looking for ways to relax, to unwind, to get away from it all.

It would be tiring just to write the number and variety of stimuli we face in an average day, a number far beyond that which our brains evolved under. Varieties that are so far flung from the natural world that it’s unimaginable that the brain could process them. Ringing phones, driving cars at 60 miles an hour on a freeway, electronic screens with characters that must be deciphered into symbols that are abstract representations of thoughts and things in the real world.

Just writing that paragraph (and re-reading it) makes my brain pressure rise.

Get out. Get outdoors. Get outdoors as soon and as often as you can, preferably someplace away from buildings and cars and phones and incandescent lights. 

I’m most fortunate to have a very dear friend, friends for over eleven years now, and he loves to get out as much as I do. He and I walk the trails and fields behind my home almost every evening in the summer, and as often as possible in winter. His pace is as relaxed as mine. We have no schedule and we’re not walking for excersize, per se. We’re likely to stop and eat blackberries or marvel at the tiny mouse tracks in the snow, or watch mile-long flocks of starlings fly overhead. We almost never speak. We use gestures and eye contact to sign “This way.” or “Come on!”, or “Are you ready to move?”.  This is a perfect blend of solitude and companionship!

Of course, Chuy is a dog, and a quiet one at that. I may speak out loud once in a while, but frankly I prefer not to, and in fact rarely need to on our walks. I think he’s more comfortable in all the natural elements, the blue & green, and all that goes with it. I think he has helped me to see that I am more comfortable out there, too.

There’s some truth, some actual scientific facts behind old ideas about “the mountain air” being good for you. There are chemical compounds in the air of ancient woods that are found no where else. Perhaps it’s some instinct that leaves me feeling at comfort and at peace with myself and the world when I’m actually out in it. Maybe some of that science applies to the whole “wall color” theory.

Frankly, I prefer no walls at all.

What do you do to connect with the blue & green? Pehaps you live in a crowded city. Maybe a physical handicap keeps you from it.  Even if blindness denies you the colors of the blue & green, you can still have the quiet, the smell of the air, the “sixth sense” that you are not bound by walls.

Here’s hoping you can get “in touch” with the power of blue & green, and experience this natural wonder for yourself.

Be at peace,

Paz

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