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  • Writer's pictureSusan Haigh

May be so......

Hooray it is May!

Well to be honest I have been a bit Covid fatigued lately, drooping like this fading pink tulip and feeling a bit blue. Now that I have had my first shot, I am feeling a bit more optimistic and hopeful that one day we really will get through these Covid restrictions and be welcome in our friend's houses once again. The great outdoors is indeed great for visiting safely but wouldn't it be wonderful to socialize around a dinner table!

Mid April we had a full week of early summer weather. The plants and I were all a bit confused but once I realized I would have to water, we all survived. The sky was a happy blue and some brave souls even launched themselves into the ocean. I was glad they did. I felt I could go with them in spirit without getting wet.

Now spring is back and apart from planting a few stray plants, I can go back to marveling at the flowers as they come.

On the blue theme, the forever spreading Forget Me Nots take over any bare ground they can. I rip them out without much remorse if I want a space for something else.

In 'Peony on Blue' they create a comforting background for the pink peony, one of my favourite flowers that should be gracing gardens soon.

My small patch of Camas is flowering reminding me that it might be time for another visit to Ruckle Park to see the Camas on the headlands there.

My 'Camas Mountain' painting is from a hike a few years ago up at the Mt. Tzouhalem Ecological Reserve on Vancouver Island. I love to see great swaths of Camas on a hillside or headland. These places bring joy to my heart. Instead of moping around with the blues, I should be out exploring the wild blue yonder.

Another blue in the garden is the ever so cheerfully invasive blue bell. I was forever digging them out of my mother's garden to make a space for something else. Of course some migrated to my garden where I let them go where they choose, for now.

A better behaved perrenial with a more intense blue flower is the Centaurea Montana.

I painted a close up of the petals of a bunch in a vase and called it Centaurea Waves. I was delighting on the way the petals flowed and curved like waves.

Less showy in colour, our wisteria is a very pale mauve with a dark centre.

On the other end of the intensity scale there is the Lithospermum whose many small flowers flow brightly across the ground.

In the herb garden, the rosemary is blooming blue too.

Our dark blue columbine (Yabeana Aquilegia) mingles and sets off the many other colours of columbine, which naturally cross and create new varieties every year.

Another blue wild flower is the tiny Blue Eyed Mary often seen creating a blue carpet above seaside cliffs or in open forest.

Blue eyed Mary and dying broom.

close up lithospermum

So with all these beautiful blue flowers and a blue sky to make us happy, why is blue the colour we talk of for sadness? Is it the receding blues of distant hills that make us sad because they are unreachable in the moment? Then there is the blue sea. I am always delighted to see it but perhaps in the past it was regarded with trepidation. The sea was dangerous, sometimes people who went to sea never returned. It is logical that gazing out to sea could bring heartbreaking memories of lives lost.

I have one more theory about the blues. When a baby has trouble breathing she starts to turn purple and then blue. For caucasion folks it can easily be seen when the light of life leaves them they lose their rosy glow and become an ashen blue grey. So being blue could relate to being so sad we lose the will to live or any enthusiasm for taking part in the colourful game of life.

Bruises too, progress like a rainbow, pink to purple to blue to green to yellow. This is interesting. If blue is the colour of death then we associate green with growth/ health in nature and then yellow is the joyful erupting of flowers, a complete rebirth.

All of this may be complete nonsense but rather than googling my question, I prefer to stay in the mystery, be creative and try to find my own answers, celebrate not knowing and what could be. As soon as we ask the 'experts' anything we stop thinking, give up our autonomy.

Big and strong the arbutus stands

disregarding death

still reaching for the all encompassing blue sky

and its intensity of possibility

Is this the way to live?

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