Sunday, 26 August 2012

Yellow

Yellow, the brightest yellow.

I sink into my seat, so glad that on a late Sunday afternoon, the tube is almost empty. The shining, pointed shoes of the man sitting opposite me are the yellow of a new daffodil.

Earlier, we'd pushed our way through the hordes of Sunday shoppers in Columbia Road, ducking the trees that seemed to walk towards us, as their new owners dragged and carried them away from the flower market.  From either side of the road we heard the competing cries of stall-holders urging us to buy "three bunches for a fiver"  And all around us were the people who had; their arms filled with roses, hydrangeas, lilies, chrysanthemums. And sun-flowers. Sun-flowers, carried away to houses all over London; to be arranged in jars and vases, just waiting for another Van Gogh to capture their golden shine.

Later, we'd mingled among the crowds in Brick Lane. We'd paused to gaze at old cameras laid out on a blanket on the ground, wondering how many of them still worked. We'd walked on, speaking in slightly hushed tones of the scary-looking man who'd been trying to sell them. The shops at each side of the road shouted out to us that old was vintage, that second-hand was previously loved. We picked our way through the groups of dark tattooed men in skinny jeans and the blonde fake-tanned girls in tiny shorts. All around us, people were eating and drinking, shouting and laughing, oblivious of the huge yellow signs on the walls above their heads, urging them to 'Please use toilets provided'.

Every now and then we'd got separated. One of us stopped to peer through a window, while the others walked on; one of us crossed the road to admire a painting, while another was distracted by the scents of a perfume shop. It would have been so easy to lose each other, to get caught up in the never-ending flow of browsers and shoppers, residents and tourists. But then we'd look ahead, and there was Kelly, holding the wooden handle of her yellow umbrella, waving it above her head like a wind-blown dandelion.

Yellow, the brightest yellow. The colour of sunshine and laughter on a summer Sunday, the colour of friendship.

16 comments:

Bill Dameron said...

Yellow. The color of sunflowers, corn, goldenrod, summer,happiness and also? Paul's favorite color. Wonderful bright sunny piece, Sharon.

The Elephant's Child said...

A truly beautiful meander through the markets to take with you. Thank you.

raymond alexander kukkee said...

Sharon, this is wonderful. Your writing is amazing. "We ARE there" in your descriptions. You also captured the love of yellow-which happens to be my favourite colour!

Joanne Noragon said...

How good to have a focal point to be drawn to. How good of Kelly to hoist the yellow flag aloft to gather you in.

Mrs Smith said...

Yellow are the daffodils - the only evidence of the coming spring at this end of the Earth. From the grip of winter and winter grippe, your story brought sun and summer to this grey day. Thank you!

Technogran said...

Lovely post Sharon with brilliant description of a market taking place. I need a yellow brolly, it might help to cheer me up when I have to go out in the rain.

Bobby Stevenson said...

Thanks,Sharon for taking me by the hand and walking me through the markets. Lovely and yellowy x

Hillary said...

Yellow is my favorite color, but I cannot wear it. I always gaze too long and with awkward admiration at women who wear it well.

Daffodils, sunflowers, daisies, black-eyed susans - I adore all these flowers.

How wonderful to have a bustling day of shopping with friends...and yellow, that happy color, everywhere.

The Idiot Gardener said...

A nice piece, as usual.

Bananas - that's all I have to add!

Wally B said...

And Saffron. How could we live without yellow?

Young at Heart said...

oh my.....I was in Columbia Road this sunday too.... the first time for a very long time....it holds memories both good and sad but I think I've reclaimed it now....I bought a rosemary plant and a cappuccino!!

Pat said...

Lovely. I couldn't help wondering if Kelly wouldn't have found a balloon easier- having just read Philip's story:)

Stranger in US said...

My mother was always crazy about yellow. While I was not so excited. And of course, there has always been this issue of NOT taking up after my mother. But as I have started living separately from my mom since I was 19, I was perfectly free in my choices most of my conscious "growing-up". And quite surprisingly step-by-step yellow made its way straight into my heart. Now one can say we (yellow and I) are inseparable and enjoy each other much :) Is it genetics, after all?

Geby said...

Very interesting to read your article. I am happy to visit on your site

Zainab Ummer Farook said...

The portrayal of the sunflowers waiting for another Van Gogh was pure genius - one of those lines that make me say, "Dang, why didn't I think of that?"

I also found the "old was vintage, that second-hand was previously loved" very striking.

This was a vivid, breathtaking piece that warmed me to the core, like the mellow sun on a winter day. Thank you for sharing it with us! :)

judy said...

your writing is beautifully visceral.
Such an inspiration to me.