So the other day I went down to the river. It was late afternoon, and the sunlight was low and golden. I sat on the bank among a patch of bluets and began to sketch. It is hard for me to impart just how much I love these little blue-touched-with-lavendar flowers. They seem to me to be the happiest of all the flowers. There’s not a serious one among the whole lot of them.
Is it possible for a flower to be serious? I think certainly so. The trilliums, with their solitary triangled bloom, have a sophistication that cannot be denied. Turk’s Cap Lilies, taller than me, rise up from the dark earth with their orange lanterns bending down, as if to light the way for some fallen soul lost in the thicket of high summer. And lady slippers? Oh my goodness, you might as well take your shoes off around those queens.
But the bluets tumble and burst over each other, simple and small they bloom in bright families and laugh amongst themselves in high tinkling voices. I feel completely myself in their company, welcomed into their circle of charm with open arms, or leaves, I guess.
So I painted this little scene of bluets and a wren, another utterly happy creature, and, just to balance out all the happiness, a blue blister beetle. I hope you can catch a whisper of their sublime happiness in my rendering. That wren does look a little serious, but she is contemplating the edibility of an insect she definitely should NOT be eating! Don’t worry, she’s smarter than we think. Though one might wonder, with all the silly places wren build their nests…