I’ve never understood the term “green with envy”.

If ever colors and feelings had associations (which if you’re a synesthetic or into the whole chakra-balancing thing, mayhaps they do), green is the least jealous-bish inducing shade I can think of. On the contrary, it’s one of the few rare things that can make me think, “I should be a little bit nicer to everyone I keep saying I love before one of us inevitably gets dead”. It’s been my bedroom color theme since I moved away from home, it looks fantastic on me, and on those days when I don’t get enough natural greenery in my life – I go from “I should be less of asshole” to “there should be fewer people on the planet”.

(This is why that whole “daily” jog near lots of lush vegetation is mandatory for sanity.)

So, yeah – of the spectrum (and this is coming from a congenital negative Nancy) this one carries the least emotional baggage. Buy why? What is that thing that turns me 180 degrees from assholery when I’m out and see sunlight hitting an ocean of bushy plant leaves – so fluorescently green that I half wonder if Fukushima pollution rain’s been hitting it? What is that? The answer’s kind of obvious. In nature, green signifies growth and flourishing – so our gaze-balls are hard wired to pick it out and feel enamored with its emerald brilliance. If the world blew up tomorrow and only a few of us were left, this evolutionary tendency would benefit us as we tried to find a nice fertile plot of land to put our Big Mac seeds in. #iDontKnowHowToFood

But as our largest current apocalypse is just an alarm clock comet clanging into our auditory organs every A.M., we don’t have to learn “how to food” for ourselves. However, our leafy plant friends can still work wonders from within the walls of your 9 to 5 prison cubicle. Science says they can even chloro-fill your heart enough to avoid indulging that one bring-your-semiautomatic-to-work-day fantasy of yours that always makes you say, “Oh, nothing” when your annoyingly happy coworker asks, “Why are you smiling from ear to ear?” as you gaze off into mid-distance.

The recent study I heard on this claims it has to do with “employers showing they care” by providing the gift of the plants to employees – or the perception of breathing better (because, duh, oxygen), but I really think it’s that same reason the constant oceanic sound of white noise playing in the background calms us down in an otherwise chaotic world – our brains like shiz that reminds us of nature and, as mentioned, it’d benefit us in the wild.

It makes sense.

I myself gazed into the abyss when I decided to eschew anxiety pharmaceuticals forever. That was when the “get a houseplant” suggestion was given to me amidst my own chaos. It wasn’t a bad idea, but I just wasn’t that into it until spring and summer arrived and I could remember I wasn’t just living in a wasteland terrain playing steward to a graveyard garden called Virginia.

It’s not that way all year – just, ya know, most months out of the year.

Seeing more green around as the leaves came in made me want to make and cultivate and care for my own little patch of botanical bliss. Well, that, and the fact that he’d give me tomatoes if I was nice to him. (And yes, I anthropomorphize my plants – to remember their basic life needs). A shih-tzu will tell me with her eyes when she has to shiz and punt her water bowl when she wants fresher water. A plant just quietly turns yellow and brown in a corner.

Now, as this years’ leaves also quietly, slowly, and sporadically start to don an early onset of color like Christmas lights foretelling fall, I feel a funny feeling. It’s that old, familiar, nostalgic non-acceptance of forthcoming change. All summer, I felt closer to nature and connected to people. Now I just find myself in that cycle where I say, “I should move to Hawaii or L.A. ASAP”, then remember I can’t afford to, then think of my friends already living there and enjoying it (and skipping hand in hand like a Coppola montage, obviously), and finally, I just feel….

Green. Green with envy.

Or brown, rather.

Or let’s say bilious – both green and brown and pukey.

And on that note, time for a nice hot bowl of Amy’s split pea soup.