In Praise of Green by David Briscoe
Yes, it’s March, but this is not about St. Patrick’s Day, though I was raised in a wonderful American-Irish family. My mother’s maiden name was Mahoney, that says it all, I’d say! No, I’m writing here about the green of life. Have you noticed how life on earth is totally beholden to green? No green, no life. So, I’m here to celebrate green, and to let green know how grateful I am.
Green of the plants allows us to have oxygen. It makes food possible, too. If the plants aren’t green, you and I are sunk. Without the green chloroplast cells in the plants there would be no whole grains, vegetables or beans. No animal meat either for the carnivores among us. No sushi in Los Angeles. No caviar for a queen’s crackers. Animals have to eat plant food before someone can eat the animals. And darn it, junk food requires green, too!
It’s funny, I grew up hating science, but now I thoroughly enjoy reading books about photosynthesis, the process by which the plants convert sunshine into stored energy, converting it into their own carbohydrates, protein and fat to feed themselves. They have no intention to feed us, we just wait around until they grow, and then we grab the plants and eat them. Thank you, plants, I happily accept my dependence on your efforts. What delicious sunshine you are! Actually, the photosynthesis books give me the feeling that I am reading something very spiritual. For what could be more life-giving than green and photosynthesis?
Now that spring is rearing its green, I’m reminded of a little poem I wrote when I was 18:
like a faint green smoke
snakes through bare trees
in the distance
It was originally an attempt at haiku, but I was never disciplined enough to pull off haiku. I’ve always been a lazy writer. But one who loves green.