Some people, myself included, attribute colours to the days of the week. This is called synaesthesia. When two similarly affected people discover they share this trait you can be sure that they will agree that Mondays, are red, of course and that Wednesdays are green. It’s obvious, isn’t it? Apparently many of us also give colours to numbers, and while I don’t think that applies to me exactly, I certainly think that 17 is the colour of buttercups, while 19 is more of a purply brown.
And so, when I was lucky enough to visit the glorious Keukenhof Gardens with my dear friend, Sue, a week ago, I was delighted when she embraced my extension of this nutty predilection – attributing emotions and new names to the flowers.
“I don’t think I’ll be very good at it,” Sue said with a slight wince.
“You’ll soon get the hang of it,” I promised. “Look! That daffodil looks just like a dog that is leaning out of a car window so its ears have gone flat in the wind!”
“So it does!” she replied and bounded off to look at a glorious fuschia and blue mixed bed. “I think the pink ones are feeling embarrassed, right?”
She’d got the hang of it right away.
Throughout that wonderful, sunshine-filled day our moods became even more buoyant as we amused each other with our silly ideas. We found brave pale yellow tulips with their arms spread wide, a rather excruciated looking red one that seemed contorted with confusion and a daffodil that was definitely made from smashed fried eggs.
Poets Wordsworth and Ruskin loved to give human characteristics to nature too and Ruskin called this a ‘pathetic fallacy’ because he knew that his own descriptions were based on his own emotions at the time and were frankly, complete rubbish.
It’s spring in The Hague at long last and I love to walk in the woods near my home and see how the branches are budding with what look like miniature florets of romanesco broccoli. I marvel at the frill and froth of the delicate leaves that are taking their first peeks at the world and am saddened that the baby pink blossom now lies on the paths like spring snowflakes. We all know how important it is to be mindful and I find that playing a game like this helps me to see more, to experience more and definitely to be more appreciative. I am grateful that Sue embraced my game. Now I hope you start to play it too.
Oh, and on another matter entirely, Ian’s contract has been extended so we are staying in The Hague for a couple more years. Anyone want me to run a Writing Me-Treat next spring and join me at the Keukenhof Gardens?