The Colours of Life


Come with me.

There are places in this world where the colours of our past have vanished to be replaced by a tepid, monochrome wash. Cities are one such place, those murderers of trees and flowers. They stole the light, our green and gold, and replaced it with shadow, chill breaths of misting grey and the detritus of colours lost.

Yet, whilst a city has its parks and gardens, birds and occasional wildlife, hope remains. It would, if they did not diminish, were not extinguished in traffic noise and creeping bricks, broken fences and boarded doors! Such is this thing we term progress.

But there is beauty, the city folk shout, and maybe in minuscule quantities of window-ledge daffodils there is. Yet turn down the wrong alley, turn left when you should have turned right, and all is bitter regret. Darkness engulfs behind the trash and trailers. Places bereft of light give birth to wretched shades of black and deformed puce. They are lightless. They are lifeless. They are everywhere.

Instead, we unwrap broad wings and take flight. We rise over the towers and over the concrete jungle, looping for joy and to shed the grime. We fly as fast as the wind will assist us out of the smoke and smog, beyond the train lines and cobweb of roads, until we see liquidity, first pools of swirling freedoms, then a never-ending expanse of blue.

The ocean is a dark place to the city folk. They could never understand how the brilliant white of chalk cliffs or those places where rims of golden sands split the distance between verdant wood and frothing tide; worlds in contrast, yet living side by side. Colours are everywhere here, but still we press on.

We journey over the breakers, which cool the heels of seas travelled far. Past the granite promontories and bone coloured lighthouses, the ones with their golden beams of life. On and on we speed as the sun dips from behind the evening cloud to burn in tangerine and crimson upon a restless sea. Here it begins. Here, what once was everywhere remains. It is sentient, one might say. All the properties of life are wrapped in the colours of today, tomorrow and yesterday. Here, where every moment brings a different hue, a shade of colour so fine as to make one weep, we find a natural world lost to others. It’s in the sunbeams, that blinking single eye of universal hydrogen. And yet it is in so small a creature as a jellyfish that sparkles in those last moments of wetted sun; the silver-sided fish; the floating seaweed and thronged life they harbour. It is in these pools of light that imagination runs wild. It is a miracle, magic, an eternal moment.

However, this is only one sea, the ocean’s offspring. Elsewhere, the mountain plateaus call to us, the steppe and brilliant white of Arctic winter beckon. There’s the emerald jungles and jade of woods, the russet of Autumn and Saffron of Summer. Ah, and Spring, what of Spring?

Use your imagination. Dream in pools and cleanse your thoughts, my friends. Live for a day, a week, a year. Breathe again in gasps of joy.

I am. I will. I do.

The End

28 thoughts on “The Colours of Life

  1. Exactly what city are you talking about? Have you ever seen the view from a skyscraper? Felt the beauty, the excitement, the energy? We take very good care of our trees and flowers in Chicago, we don’t murder them. We have forest preserves and roof top gardens.

    Broken fences, boarded doors…? Wow. A lot of us LOVE our cities. Some people are unable to SEE the beauty, or understand the lives lived here, the diversity, the passion, the beauty, the incredible creativity.

    Trash and trailers? Where would trailers be in a city? Shed the grime? Devoid of light? Wow again.

    Don’t come here because you would hate it, you wouldn’t be able see the amazing beauty, or the wonderful and kind people. The magnificent buildings and the fantastic art. You wouldn’t be able to feel Chicago’s heartbeat. The musicians the lights, the food, the shows, the gorgeous lake and the wildness. Yeah, stay where you have cliffs because we like people who love cities and all the wonderful things they provide. All the intellectual stimulation, the books, the the smiles and the joy. I wouldn’t find any of that on a cliff. Wow. And you think WE are the one’s who don’t understand.

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