Nature teaches us many things like the circle of life, the food chain, the inevitability of change, and cooperation. That’s right, cooperation. We get caught up in competition that we forget the importance of working together to bring about positive change. Nature does that with colors. If you look around you will see lots of green, things growing and thriving. Green is a sign of life. And green only comes because of cooperation.

For things to grow they need both sun and rain. And good soil to grow in and stand tall, but that brown is for another day. Today we talk about photosynthesis whereby plants transform sunlight into growth, with the help of rainfall, or when needed, human watering. Metaphysically we can look at it as taking the yellow of sunlight and combining it with the blue of the water to make all that green. It takes just the right combination. If you have too much yellow/sun the plant will wither. If you have too much blue/water the plant will drown.

We can see other colors in nature that are examples of cooperative combination. Orange, my favorite color, is a combination of yellow and red. Mellow and fiery, you might say. I love oranges and carrots, two orange-colored healthy products totally organic and good for you. I love the harvest moon and sunsets which can bring out the orange.

My wife, by contrast, loves purple. It is a combination of blue and red. We see it in mainly in grapes and eggplant. It has been seen for centuries as the color of royalty – someone said to be “born to the purple” was of royal blood. And one of our national songs talks about the “purple mountains majesty”. It is a rich color and some say it got its association with royalty because the plants used to dye cloth purple was very hard to find and pricey.

So we see that the primary colors exist by themselves but also each have combinations with each other. And then we can see the contrast between these combination colors – orange and green I think of the Irish split between orange for Protestants and green for the Catholics. Purple and Orange brings up one of my favorite sports teams – the Phoenix Suns – whose colors are orange and purple. Purple and green would bring memories of our grape arbor growing up with the abundant purple grapes surrounded by the lush green leaves. Yum!

Take a look around you this week and spy out the colors of nature, especially these combinations. Remember all that green is only possible because of cooperation. I think we could use more of that in our human part of the world.