Jim Henson really didn’t know how complex the word “green” would become when he had Kermit lament his famous line. Decades later and the word has taken on a whole new meaning, but even then there was so much more to the word than just one frog’s take on it.
The word has become a part of our lexicon referring to how “eco-friendly” someone or something is. It’s become quite hip, and Kermit would appreciate this, to be green. Just recently, a very conservative friend was telling me about replacing his dead SUV with a smaller sedan, and how thrilled he was with the near doubling of his mileage. Now, honestly, at first I thought he was telling me this because of how much money he was saving and what a better deal the smaller vehicle was because – I’m fairly certain – he doesn’t buy too much into global climate change. But, just today, I wondered if he told me about his car because he knows just how much of a liberal greenie-weenie I am, and was connecting with me on my greenness.
The word green, though, has long been a word with many meanings and complexities.
Take for instance the color green. Which shade do you mean? Forest? Kelly (St. Patty’s Day anyone?). Lime? Look at my garden alone, and I’m so loving on my garden this year, and you’ll find a smattering of different greens. My broccoli is a blueish green. The tomatoes almost an olive drab, army green. The peppers, a dark evergreen. And the lettuce? Don’t get me going on my lettuce.
Do you see my point? Not yet? Well, keep reading.
Someone new to something is, what was that again? Oh, yes. Green.
You’re jealous of my garden, aren’t you? Don’t deny it, I see you green with envy!
And my home’s mountains? The GREEN Mountains. Now, I’ve traveled all across our great and wonderful country. I’ve visited the Blues, the Whites, the Smokies and the Rockies, but there is nothing like our Green Mountains. They earn their name during the spring and summer when they’re a vibrant mosaic of green. It’s a splendid spectacle of color, one color by definition, but a multitude enough that could make a painter swoon. And then, just when you think they can’t get anymore beautiful, they erupt in the fall into reds, golds, yellows, and oranges. They then wipe their palette during the winter, returning to their bare, white canvass.
Kermit knew exactly how complex green was, man! It’s getting easier, though, in that ecological sense, at least. Wind and solar power are making huge strides. Most folks know about recycling now. And my wife and I, lucky enough that Vermont has remained as cool as it has this summer, have been able to keep our AC and fans off for most of the summer. We’re all counting our miles. As a society, we’re conscious of our greenness now.
But even something as simple as mowing my lawn reminds me how complex and wonderful that one simple word is; it mesmerizes me with its intricacy. As I write this I’m realizing it’s late and I have a lot of work to do before I can turn in, I think it’s time to brew myself a cup of tea to help stave off sleep for a little while longer.
And tonight, I think I’ll make it, green tea.