Heather Hamilton-Maude: The color in question
It slowly fades in the fall, as the cold comes on. From a lot to a little, then to none. But, months down the road, it always reappears. First as a whimsical whiff caught by the attentive nose on the way by the ears.
Eventually, it morphs to the distinctive odor of dirt and sun and rain coming together. From a single scent to a myriad of smells, each one containing a different formation of cells.
Then the color itself bursts forth with gusto. Shifting the landscape from neutral to grow. Deep and dark mixed with light and airy. All combine below the horizon and across the great prairie.
It moves like the sea; waves carried by the wind. Acting as the base of each scene round the bend. Occasionally stretching high or flowing fast and deep. Found in plants and feathers and the occasional set of eyes when not asleep.
It is the feeling of pickles, running barefoot through grass, slippery frogs and pine needles, along with Grandma’s antique glass. Varying forms; some tough, others fragile. Occasionally adorning shoes of those quite agile.
Some years it is hard to come by, being rather dependent on rain. But, after a dry spell it is always especially bright. For when the new is scarce, the old is used, making way for an even more vivid hue.
Manmade things bear its pigmentation. Tractors and homes, from basic to extravagant, along with the dollars needed to ensure payment is adequate. Joe Diffie once used it to proudly proclaim, the love of Billy Bob and Charlene. Many a chef will dice or chop it before adding it in some form to their cuisine.
What does it sound like, this tint in question? Perhaps it is best described as a July mountain scene, high in the trees next to a babbling stream. Or sitting on a sun-faded yellow seat, turning the wheel while upping the throttle on the old ‘68. Possibly like a bunch of cows, eating along slowly in mid-summer’s heat, waving their tails as a meadowlark tweets.
When it is abundant the souls of many are at peace, when it diminishes so does a sense of ease. Caution is issued regarding it and envy, and for some folks it causes quite a frenzy.
Always noticed when it arrives on the scene, the color in question is undoubtedly green.
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the July 24, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News