Have you ever wondered why we associate the color blue with sadness? Why do we call a sad mood or sad music “the blues”? I can see why we might associate the color grey with sadness, because grey is gloomy and dull and often connected to cloudiness, which has a proven downward effect on mood. But I never understood why blue means sad. I think the color blue is happy and calming, cheerful and relaxing, even dark shades of blue like royal or navy. I don’t have the blues; right now I’ve got the yellows.
At this time of year, autumn, I always get the yellows. Normally, I associate yellow with sunshine… which means I associate it with happiness. Sunny days always make me feel more energized and uplifted than cloudy ones, even when the temperature isn’t hot. In the autumn, though, I get a different feeling from yellow. Yellow now makes me mellow, and not in the “chilled out” way; instead my mellow yellow right now is short for melancholy.
Starting in September and carrying through to November, yellow makes me sad. The slow turn of the once vibrant green leaves on the trees to a pale yellowy-green and then to a brighter yellow—before they fall to their deaths to be crushed on the sideways and roads—is a like a signal light changing. It tells me that the green glory days of summer are over and warns me that winter is on its way. That combination of the loss of the lushness of summer and its coming replacement with the freeze of winter fills me with a creeping dread. I feel heavy. I look out the window and mope. I sigh a lot.
Like I said, autumn gives me the yellows, and right now, I have a really bad case! How about you?
(Winter will give me the greys, but that’s a post for another day.)