January’s Borage Blue

IMG_2904 The forest a few miles from the bay where I walk as much as I possibly can (which is never enough) is dense with Monterey pines, some oaks, thick with assorted underbrush, poison oak, in particular, some false sage, and a lot of bushes I don’t know the names of. It’s a place of muted colors, and that’s partly why I keep to an understated palate in my attire; I prefer the illusion, anyway, of blending in.

When even a tiny fleck of unexpected color appears, I’m stopped by it and have to look and swoon and smile. Such a surprise might come from the fallen orange arrow of a flicker feather or a loveliness of flying yellow ladybugs that occurs, when it does, always in the same place.

Yesterday’s blue borage was just that bit of color—a clustering of many-blossomed stalks with an abundance of five-petaled flowers growing up from long tongue-like greenest leaves. This blue is deeper than most skies, lighter than cobalt or lapis, a rare ocean but never a lake that I’ve seen. If I had a shirt that color I’d never take it off. Borage in the midst of January is the color of the beloved’s return eons after you’ve given up on him, when all loss is forgotten and you stand rapt and entranced, sated and enamored before the color blue.

Borage 2