To be perfectly honest, I had completely forgotten there was a color green; that is, until I arrived in North Carolina earlier this month. I was practically blinded by all that green. In fact, there was no other color to be seen. Every tree, every bush, every blade of grass was green. Even the dirt had a green hue to it. Shades of green from sage, lime and olive to emerald, pear and shamrock dominated the landscape.
The reason for all this green was readily apparent when I drove from the airport to the hotel and experienced a downpour unlike anything I have witnessed in California since I arrived here over six years ago. It was time for Noah to build another ark.
The windshield wipers in full mode were simply no match for the rain. It was raining cats and dogs and any other animals you want to throw into the mix. I could barely make out the car in front of me. It’s a miracle I survived.
If any person living in North Carolina were to decorate their home in green, visitors would understandably have difficulty figuring out whether they were outdoors or indoors, if it weren’t for the extreme temperature change—pretty much going from oven hot to freezer cold. It is truly remarkable that all residents from the Tar Heel State aren’t in ICU suffering from pneumonia.
The legendary artist Georgia O’Keeffe spent her formative years as an artist in Lake George, N.Y, and she tired of all that green, which is the dominant color in upstate New York, just as it is in the Carolinas. When she visited New Mexico, she fell in love with the red and purple hills, and the white and yellow cliffs. She spent the bulk of her long life soaking up the vivid colors of the Southwest.
As for me, when I am in Malibu I tend to miss the green back (not to be confused with greenbacks) on the East Coast, but when I am in the “old country,” I get overwhelmed by all that green and long to be back in Malibu.
So you see, that expression, “The grass is always greener on the other side,” is figuratively correct almost all the time, even when it literally makes no sense, like when you are on the East Coast thinking of arid Southern California.