One of the dictionary definitions I came across when looking for a starting point for this post was “an absence of pigmentation.” Not so. White happens to be one of my favourite colours, a wonderful choice – especially when combined with muddy cat paws..
But look again.. there’s a whole rainbow of colours within white. I have a white rosebush ( called Richard…) and I was delighted because the first rose opened the other day. Not only is there white within its petals, but there is the lushness of Jersey cream, thick and yellow towards the base of its velvet petals.
Obviously there is an abundance of white flowers in Nature, it is one of the most primitive and earliest evolved colours for flowers, along with yellow. Daisies star our lawn, like the Milky Way, and I’m always regretful when the grass is cut. To me, they have the crisp white of freshly laundered sheets, snapping on the washing line.
Another treasure chest of white, a water lily in our pond, perfectly symmetrical petals, as pristine as if they had been carved from soap and arranged origami-style to form the flower, white with palest blush pink and delicate veins of green.
And then my dicentra, or “bleeding heart” as it’s sometimes known; it’s not very big, but the flowers are studies in softness, marshmallow cherub’s wings of cloud white.
That’s just in my garden. Go further afield to the Arctic, or any sub-zero region and the whole spectrum of blue and green is visible within a single iceberg. The icecubes in my fridge are a poor relation doing their best, yet still in the right light you can catch glimpses of polar bears and penguins.. Look up, and most days (here at least) you will see clouds, wisps of angel hair trailing softly across the sky, or plump pillows within the folds of blue sky, newly laundered by the rain. I had the most amazing dream once, I was standing on the rockery, reaching up to pull down great armfuls of cloud, that felt like cotton wool, but was cool and crisp like shredded cucumber…
Look within the Earth, and despite her dark innards, Mother Earth too will give up chunks of purest white that still contain the might and making of the Universe, Moonstone, Calcite and Quartz. White Calcite, as well as being good for encouraging spiritual growth and alleviating emotional stress, looks as though it has been hewn from the very centre of the North Pole, Aurora Borealis dancing within its depths.
My son’s White (or Snow) Quartz, good for enhancing tact and co-operation, has a million tiny faceted rainbows caught within its walls, glitter in a glass of milk.
Of course… food. White chocolate, the best quality, has the sheen of cream running through it with the richness of gold as it melts in your mouth. White rice, soft mounds nestles together like herds of tiny sheep, and white bread, cushiony and wheaty, smelling of summer, that faintly hot, parched tang of earth as it bakes in the sun. Yoghurt, peaks of whipped perfection as satisfying as the Alps.
Not for me “ Oh, white’s so sterile, it reminds me of an operating theatre” – there is a richness within white as mesmerising as clouds on a windy day, forever changing and reforming, not one solid colour but the whole spectrum flowing in an endless cycle. Continuity and colour.
All photos were taken by my son!