Green: Nature's serenity
As the foundation of nature, green ties all of us back to our roots, gives us a feeling of retreat from the normal materialistic, bustling life we lead every day. Green is quieting, refreshing, and reassuring; as the first green buds pop through the white blankets of snow, we are assured of the imminent coming of spring, the season of birth and rejuvenation. As in heraldic tradition, the word for green, “vert,” means growth and hope (Birren 173).
Interesting fact: this connotation for green is the reason almost every government prints some of its currency in green. Not only does is present reassurance, but green also symbolizes the foundation of life — just like money is the foundation of a country’s economy.
Perhaps due to its overwhelming presence in nature, green is also the color that rests most center of the retina in the eye. Thus, when receptor cells in the eye pick up light waves, vision is most receptive to green due to how easy the retina can absorb it. Because of this, green provides an ideal environment for relaxation, concentration and meditation (Color 206).
Like most other colors, however, green has a split personality as well. Ancient Egyption mythology recognized green’s contradictory nature, assigning the color to Osiris, the god of both vegetation and death (Color 206).
The personality traits society has become to most associate with green are guilt, envy, jealousy (Birren 143). Seers assert that grayish green auras tip off a deceitful, cunning person (Birren 43), two thought processes that usually surface in someone “green with envy.” When a person’s mind becomes so satiated with these thoughts, one can call them diseased.
Disease and poison, like green venom depicted dripping from a snakes fangs or green bottles of poison in fantasy epics, follow along this standard. The origin of this idea dates back to the 19th century when arsenic—laced emerald green wallpaper decorated thousands of walls in Paris homes. Now known to be lethal, this wallpaper was inadvertently responsible for numerous deaths before the cause (arsenic) was discovered (Color 208).