Friday, February 10, 2012


I was spending some time with my host family way back when I first moved to my village, and one of the kids asked me “What is the color of America?” I asked her to repeat herself a few times, but she always said the same thing. Unsure exactly what she meant, I said “red, white, and blue,” thinking of the flag. Then she told me “The color of Samoa is green.” Sa’o lelei. The Samoan flag is also red, white, and blue, but the color of Samoa is, without a doubt, green. Green also happens to be the color of envy, and it is my depraved and decadent desire to inspire envy in you, the faithful reader of my blog, for my beautiful, green, tropical island life. My apologies to those of you back in the States stuck in the unpredictable almost-end-of-winter, but life is a beach in Samoa 

The things that always get me about Samoa are the transition times – sunrise and sunset. I always say Samoa has an infinite sky, and I can’t adequately describe how beautiful it is. I love how fire lights the sky as the sun comes up, but recently I watched a sunrise in shades of blue instead of shades of fire, and it was equally as beautiful as any other sunrise I have seen. The sunrise paints the sky, as the first gleam of color shades the horizon, then everything shades into red, pink, orange, and finally the sun inches over the horizon, throwing light across the ocean and into a golden blue sky. The colors are fierce. While the sunrise is always stunning, I think I like sunset a little more. The sun comes up to the accompaniment of roosters and other stirrings of life, but the sun goes down in the calm. I watch the color fade from the sky, a reverse fire silhouetted against feathery palm trees, until all that remains is a dim outline of trees against black. I don’t have the words to paint the picture that actually happens every day, but trust me, it is amazing.

I pulled this excerpt from one of the books I was reading because he is also trying to capture the unspeakable beauty of art in motion across the sky.

I press into the desert, aiming for a spot to watch the sun break. Every ten steps I check the east and it changes as I walk. Black gives to blue and it is a blue like no blue on any painting or picture. This is living blue, changing from one hue to another, shifting slowly the way color only does at morning.
…To the east, the first tint of red arrives in weak shades through overpowering blue. There are clouds now, and as the light comes in slow, the great vapors establish form; tall clouds with thirty-thousand-foot lifts. And though tremendous in size, they are guarded by the length and depth of a black-blue sky…
Morning lifts with her finger first, stretching her long bones into the clouds…The black hills ghost to gray, revealing crags and cliff lifting up toward their summits.

Donald Miller, Through Painted Deserts

No, I really can’t do it justice, but hopefully these pictures will inspire some “green” thoughts for you if my words can’t 

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