Finding Yellow-Green

“What no wife of a writer can understand is that a writer is working when he’s staring out the window.” ~ Burton Rascoe, American journalist, editor, literary critic

I don’t stare out my window so much, but I do stare off my deck. And hubby doesn’t understand.

This morning, 6:15, the birds are waking. One is calling Jeremy-Jeremy-Jeremy-Jeremy, another answers Spritz-Spritz-Spritz-Spritz-Spritz.

From my vantage point I face a corner of the deck. DSC01145 Nandina bushes with their clusters of grape-like berries, and a mimosa tree with its frond-like leaves border the railing. All are covered in dew and glisten as the sun finally touches the top of the trees.

I watch a fog rise with the sun’s warming. It adds an ethereal quality to my side yard, the farthest branches of the bushes and the woods beyond. Woods shrouded in a thin veil of mist glow white.

The sun lifts further, breaks through the fog, and hits the back yard in splotches of yellow-green. I hear the pattern of bird calls, always four for Jeremy and five for Spritz. The dew beads roll off frond tips and the curves of berries, drop like rain in a syncopated beat. The warmer the air, the faster the beads roll. I watch them fall, their tracks shimmer in the sun, look like strands of silk.

I look to my left and I’m surprised to see what the rays reveal – a large, perfectly spun web connecting a nandina to the deck. The circular strands are scalloped evenly, hanging from the weight of dew.DSC01144So where does all this staring lead a writer?

If I were a children’s author, Jeremy and Spritz would be making all kinds of plans for the day ahead! But I’m not so I’m focused on the patterns. I think of all the patterns in nature, how everything is created in an order. Once I see patterns, it’s a challenge not to see them and I search for them. That curiosity extends to those in human nature too.

I just now realize yellow-green is the color of sun hitting grass and leaves!

I listen to pseudo raindrops and they remind me of the cartoons I watched growing up – the good ones :-). Raindrops were paired with notes of classical music. It wasn’t until years later I read this was done to introduce children to classical music and the ballet. Is that still being done? Do our children miss out on something if it’s not? I imagine I’m not the only one who first heard 1812 Overture on a cartoon and not played by a symphony.

The web looks like an oval Victorian mirror, so beautiful and I try to come up with a description that isn’t such a cliche. As the dew falls and dissipates, and the nandina branches lighten and rise, what will happen to the web? Will it stretch or will it break? I think of the spider’s diligence and perseverance making the web during the night. (It’s always at night isn’t it? Then we walk into them in the morning when we don’t know they’re there – Yuck!)

The web becomes a metaphor for so many things: fragile beauty; how even our best efforts can be undone by things out of our control; how we sometimes have to stretch when outside forces pull, sometimes we break; perseverance, diligence and hope.

Then writers spin the observations into words and weave them into poetry and prose – the rest of our work.

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4 Responses to Finding Yellow-Green

  1. icclaire says:

    Kim –
    This is a marvelous exercise for any genre. As always, thank you for taking us on such a sunrise journey – – – engaging our senses, until we choose to end it. Through your descriptions, the dew isn’t just seen, it can be felt, and heard, as clearly as almost tasting it, and the web – – – oh my – – – you have left us with a never-ending image to feast on all day, and any day we wish.
    LOVE your journeys!!!!

    • Claire, you are so sweet. Thank you. Love my outdoor office – out here right now working on poetry from some of the images and notes that came from those morning pages on the deck at 6:00 this morning. What would we writers do without this ever-changing and abundant source of out-of-doors inspiration?
      Don’t want to think about it! 🙂 Enjoy your journeys today!

  2. marlajayne says:

    Beautiful post! Although I’m not nearly as good at description as you are (not putting myself down, just stating a fact), I too can see so much life application in nature. Just recently I finished a book entitle 7,000 Ways to Listen, and in the beginning of the book, Nepo describes a web much like the one you have described here. Although I don’t have the book in front of me right now, I recall that he said that when a change takes place with one person who’s a part of the web, the web quivers. That phrase spoke to me as I considered all of the births, separations, meetings, chance encounters, and deaths that take place in all of our lives.

    • Thanks, Jayne! I’ve heard the same philosophy and I think it’s a beautiful way to look at how we interact, not just with other people but with our environment as well. Always fascinated by the looks and textures of nature ~ would love to be an artist. For now will try and ‘paint’ with words 🙂
      ~ Kim

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