I've been stealing branches of hydrangea on my walk home from work, glorious fading blossoms spilling over onto sidewalks, driveways, the street. Not sure what I'll do/say if/when I get caught, except that who could resist such an array of every shade of blue imaginable? And because the summer has been exceptionally dry (by Seattle standards), the flowers are losing their intensity earlier than is normal. But no less stunning in their waning!
I like to think that the color evaporates as the warm days persist, and that somewhere is a repository of blue droplets, perhaps in a cloudbank, or a pocket of fog.
Once, in an upscale restaurant in Ireland, I saw a woman wearing a dress of the most exquisite shade of blue possible — not royal blue or cobalt of cornflower blue or azure — but something I'd call beach-glass blue, dark yet with a shadow of green light, and a glowing brightness that defied an accurate description, a hue that changed depending on the direction of the sun. Rather, I'll call it impossible blue. And it's rare to find in an article of clothing, believe me, as I've searched for years for just this shade.
Before leaving the restaurant, I stopped at the woman's table to compliment her, and she seemed a bit uncomfortable, which was warranted because I wanted to rip the dress from her and take it with me. (But I didn't.)
And now there are hydrangeas on my kitchen sill, on my kitchen table, and all over my bedroom, some from last year with just a whisper of color, and then this year's crop — still holding on to a generous suffusion of pigment.