Saturday, April 8, 2017

Mellow Yellow

I had to travel to Elizabeth City on the mainland this week for a doctor's appointment. It used to be that the road was sided by field after field of cotton dressed in whites, maroons, ochre and sepia depending on the time of year. Things change as they tend to do, and now vineyards have replaced the cotton fields; the vines turning their tendrils up at the thought of cotton sharing their neighborhood.

But this week, besides seeing the newly awakening vines, I was awestruck at the fields I saw on either side of the road, mile after mile. Like saffron-clad monks bowing low in prayer, these brilliant, yellow fields are crops of rapeseed and will make their way into our kitchens as canola oil.

I've read that when the ancient Indians looked into the jungle they could always tell which leaves were about to fall from the trees, because they were either yellow, orange or brown. Consequently, in India, yellow became the color of renunciation. Monks and nuns wear yellow robes as a constant reminder of the importance of not clinging, of letting go, of giving up.

Change is hard because it usually relates to time. When things change, we are reminded that we too are aging. Things are no longer as they were. Some try to stave off time and change, but inevitably they too realize its time to let go of the past. Change doesn't have to be a negative thing. This week I was thrilled to put my past behind me, walking out of my oncologist's office with a clean bill of health. I will admit though, it still saddens me not to see tufts of cotton littering the roadside in the fall.

But like the monks I am learning to let things go, not to cling to past thoughts and ideals. This allows for new ideas and opportunities to come wafting in. I will no longer hold onto the image of cotton fields every time I cross the bridge to the mainland. Instead, I am replacing that past with the present rapeseed, imagining the fields to be blessed full of earthly prayers.

Copyright E.M. Corsa 2017


  1. Congratulations on your clean bill of health!!! It seems an eternity to carry around that weight for 5 years (before the docs finally say, All clear!"). Loved the paintings this post - first time I saw fields of rapeseed was in the UK and it was amazing to me to see so much yellow, not knowing what was growing there. Beautiful - and on a bright, spring day, nothing more beautiful. You really captured the "flow" and the yellows against the blues and violets! Again - here's to many happy bright days ahead!

  2. Thank you Rhonda. Actually that 5 year marker no longer applies. It's been 7 for me, and my oncologist says it can come back anytime. The chances dwindle as each year goes by but I still must go for a checkup each year, and I just hold my breath. My doc says we will be friends for life. Good thing he's cute!

    This is the first time I ever say rapeseed. Thank you so very much for liking the new work!

  3. What a beautiful analogy you have illustrated, that of bowing in joyful surrender. I will never look at an aging leaf in the same way again.

  4. Thank you Eve. I cant wait for you to cross the bridge and see these joyful fields with your own eyes!