Having found lists of obscure/obsolete color names and rounded out the alphabet with a few simply-charming-to-me colors, each day, I’ll introduce a color and a swatch I’ve painted and then write about whatever comes to mind as I muse about the day’s color. Fair warning, my mind is a non-linear traveler, so who knows where my contemplations will take us.
T is for…
Tilleul – pale yellowish green
I heartily agree with Basho, who wrote:
It was with awe That I beheld Fresh leaves, green leaves Bright in the sun.
One of the things I most love about Spring is taking walks and watching the trees as they change day by day, week by week. I never cease to be amazed and filled with delight when the trees start budding, and then tiny little leaves start unfurling. In that magical seen-only-briefly-only-in-early-Spring color – that luminous yellow-light-infused green.
Of course, it’s not just during Spring that my love of trees flourishes – I’m an all-seasons devotee. Many years ago, I came across the work of Jen Delyth, a Welsh artist and author. Her words really helped ignite and deepen my connection and exploration of the magic of trees. She holds that there is three-fold wisdom in trees – the leaf wisdom of change and ever releasing; the wisdom of the branches, which is of growth and ever reaching; and the wisdom of the roots, which is endurance and ever-deepening.
Although I live in a major metropolitan area in a neighborhood with very small property lots without room for backyard trees, almost every house on our block has a street-side tree. Every day I think of their benevolent presence watching over our neighborhood, holding branch hands across the block, welcoming birds and squirrels, and the occasional errant kite, keeping watchful eyes on all of us. Mostly they’re silent and observant, perhaps frequently in deep meditation, but they whisper in the breeze and dance in the wind, and all of it, all of it, makes me very happy.
I think Mary Oliver captured it perfectly:
Around me the trees stir in their leaves and call out, “Stay awhile.”
What about you? Do trees call to you? Have a favorite one? Think the green of newly emerging leaves is magical? What do you like best about Spring? Do tell – you know I’d love to hear.
I love all trees. The flowering ones in the spring are stunning but the evergreens are majestic and give my area color all year round.
It’s a lovely contrast as well – the brief season of the flowering trees and the lasting presence of the evergreens.
the Scot in me adores a Silver Birch among the bilberries and heather… the Aussie is partial to a Eucalypt or 600!
Sorry a bit absent to post comments – got a bit happening this side… still reading though! YAM xx
Nice choices! The birch amid bilberries and heather sounds especially lovely to me. And thanks, Yamini, for your eyes and your words.
That is a truly weird colour – I’m not sure I know any trees that match it. But driving around through the leafy lanes at present the colours change daily – shades of green – more yellow in that one, those still emerging, that one yet to start… its a fascinating kaleidoscope of acid green.
I agree, Jemima. Spring is a magical time when colors change from moment to moment as they unfold. And together, it is a delightful kaleidoscope image.
Light-infused is a good way to describe that color. It seems kind of translucent.
I do enjoy trees. I’ve become a bit of a tree hugger, I admit. When I see trees being cut down only so buildings and parking lots can take their place, I feel a deep sense of disappointment. Especially when so many buildings that *already* stand where trees were razed sit empty and derelict now.
I agree. With so much of the Earth paved over and covered with concrete, it feels almost critical to me that every tree be allowed to stand. With its roots planted in the soil, it is like a lifesaver, breathing in air and passing it down into what I imagine is a gasping planet.
I love this post! I am a citizen pruner and street tree steward in NYC and I love that our city is constantly planting and caring for more and more trees. I’m also with you on the first leaves of spring, when there is just a hit of pale green before they totally burst forth.
A citizen pruner, and in NYC – how that delights me Molly!
The trees here are now decked out in fresh green, though new oak leaves are reddish-green. I love to see everything waking – it’s a very special time of year.
It is a special time!
Tilleul is a beautiful word, and it makes me especially think of willow trees, which start with an enchanted pale yellow-ish green haze before leafing out. I like the idea of trees having three-fold wisdom.
Alphabet of Alphabets: Translating Trades
Willows, especially the weeping variety, are a favorite of mine. They seem incredibly mysterious, with their branches and leaves gracefully reaching groundward. I like to think of them as beautiful contrarians, bucking the convention of trees to reach skyward.