celebrating celadon

For some of us (the very lucky ones, I like to think), colors exert a unique energy on our lives, moving us in ways and directions both unexpected and gratifying. A yellow umbrella on a grey day, a ruby-colored wall in an otherwise bland room, the signature blue of a robin’s egg in its plain-colored nest – all are examples of how color can exude a jolt of joy into our existence.

For me, celadon has always been one such hue. The color of new leaves, of sea glass, of mother-of-pearl lit by moonlight, celadon carries with it a soothing power. Tranquil, nuanced, and healing, it is like shade on a hot summer’s day or the promise of spring in the midst of winter.

In a world made ever more busy, complex, and cluttered, a glimpse of celadon offers an oasis, soothing in its gentleness on the eyes and its promise of peace and clarity. It is a quiet sigh of contentment that speaks volumes to those who are sensitive to the language of color.

Celadon lives in the same color family as jade and laurel, sage and green tea.  Whether it appears in the underside of a tulip leaf or the softened, silvered hue of a whispering cottonwood tree, celadon signals both renewal and respite.

In my life, celadon has also become the color of friendship and caring.

A very dear friend of mine has given me small gifts from time to time, mostly just to celebrate the day or to share her joy at our having become friends later in life. Each of those gifts, treasured for the thought that went into it, is celadon in color.

A porcelain keepsake box; a pair of delicate earrings; a smooth, glossy bangle in shades ranging from celadon to jade; a bracelet strung with intricately carved beads; a box of handmade soaps, each pale green cake bearing the imprint and scent of lily of the valley – each piece was painstakingly chosen with me in mind, selected to nourish and pamper my uniqueness.

Even more than these gifts being beautiful, they are pieces of my friend’s heart and soul. She, herself, is elegance personified – dignified, gentle, and fully present. And while these celadon objects are certainly lovely, her inner gifts – her aura of healing, her warmth that seems to touch each person with whom she connects, her true happiness in the little things – these are what make her so precious.

If I had to choose two words to describe this extraordinary woman, the first I would choose is “grace” – in her movements, her way of welcoming others into her home, her inspired sense of design. And the second word I would offer is “brave,” marking her courage in standing up to some of life’s most difficult physical and emotional challenges and emerging renewed in strength.

Her anchors are faith, balance, and the beauty around her; her North Star guides her on a path of calm. If I were to take out my ever-present box of crayons (it’s never far from where I write), I would color her path a peaceful celadon green.

So many colors make me happy – bright candy pink, buttery daffodil yellow, sea-washed aquamarine, violet-blue periwinkle (even the name makes me smile). But celadon goes a step further – it makes me happy and hopeful. It instills in me a sense of well-being, even if for just one moment. In my heart, celadon is the color of life-affirming friendship. It is the color of exhaling.


©2023 Claudia Grossman

3 comments on “celebrating celadon

  1. Very beautiful, and you are blessed to have such a friend!!!!!!!!

  2. You are so very lucky to have a friend like that in your life! But I know you already realize that….

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