(Yes, Linda! Spring, blessedly, is coming!)
“The other day, my daughter asked me what my favorite color was, and I irritated her the way I sometimes do by answering this question with one of my own: “To look at, or to wear?” Because it does make a difference, or it should in theory…even though after the bothersome question had slipped my lips, I realized that in that precise moment it made no difference at all. The color was one and the same. “Blue.”
Often my answer is some shade of green. Sometimes it’s a specific shade of gray—”mouse.” Yesterday it was joyfully and unequivocally, blue. After the winter we and so many others have had, I could have added “And by the way: any blue will do. Even the smallest, weeniest littlest, palest-faced patch.” But I didn’t need to qualify it, because as we were playing this little game, the sky outside was shouting a very decisive answer of its own.
Electric blue! Clean blue! That precise blue that gave birth to the very concept of the color! That oscillates spectacularly—at lightening speed—between being a frigidly cold color and a flaming hot one. The blue of a cold wet winter giving way to what will, if we hold our breath, become another summer that children’s dreams are made of. Nordic and tropical all at the same time. Polar and equatorial. Shallow, deep. Frivolous, dead serious. Cruel, profoundly benevolent. That blue that seduces people out of their homes, underdressed, just to catch a ray of light even though the temperatures are anything but worthy. The blue of all blues. There’s no way I could have answered her question otherwise.