Archive for May, 2007

Blue on Blue

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

The lilacs are in their last week of robustness and I am reminded of the brevity of life. In walking back down the driveway from picking up the mail, I have, for the last couple of weeks, paused to plunge my nose into a plume of lilac blossom. It is quite intoxicating and sometimes a bold act with bees all jostling and pushing for their place in the petals.

I reluctantly pulled away and only then noticed a flicker of blue pass dreamily in the sunlight. It was a spring azure, a delicate butterfly that spans no more than about an inch. It flittered on some grasses and then lifted off and hovered about a lilac blossom. It seemed tentative. The flittering blue seemed to caress the full lilac as it hovered undecidedly. Was the insect seeing, or perhaps smelling, this blue as a voluptuous potential female azure?

I like the word azure. Few people have eyes so blue as my wife Nancy’s eyes. In fact they are worthy of the title “azure.” Such a title bears a dignity that is a more royal title.

I suspect that our eyes linger on pigments of blue longer in the spring than in the summer because after a monochromatic winter of black and white, we celebrate a much-needed drink of color. Even Thoreau could not hold back when he pronounced “The bluebird wears (the blue of) April on it’s back.” He also expressed lakes, in their return to a liquid state as “the eye’s of God.” Blue can do that to you.

Taking that a step further I had to pick up my annual purchase of a “Summer Delight” blue (of course) hydrangea at a local nursery. To test my theory of our sudden spring attraction to blue, I lingered and strolled slowly among the geraniums, just below the hanging pots of flowers. From here I could easily case out the cash register to spy on purchased choices.

Mostly I learned that the nursery business is very lucrative in May. Folks resemble the little spring azure butterfly in their dance around the nursery, pausing, alighting and then moving on to the next prize. Though reds were popular, I am going to declare blue having the edge. Surprisingly white petals rank high in popular purchases.

As I pulled into our driveway, an intensely blue bluebird was perched on our mailbox. Not only that but this welcome overdose of blue splashed my sensorial system just as the Bob Dylan CD was kicking out, you guessed it, “Tangled Up In Blue!”

I was absolutely in the midst of a blue day and my mood soared on the tail of the departing bluebird.

Stay tuned for next month’s color.