June 2017

- Cornflower Blue -


“Come, I want to show you something,” my mother said mysteriously when I visited her in June. “You will be astonished.” Then we cycled over bumpy, grass-scarred dirt country lanes, she with an undefeated vitality always ahead by a nose. It was sunny and windless, delightful Baroque clouds sat enthroned as if painted in the blue sky. The landscape resembled a soft, green carpet with a lively pattern of fields, meadows and groups of trees. The aromatic, scented air with the chirping of the crickets, a lark pausing over a meadow, fluttering and chirping, swarms of small mosquitoes dancing in front of it, whilst obliviously a blackbird twittered its tribute to life. My father would have liked to have become a farmer, but my mother most definitely not. The compromise was an asparagus field at the gates of our village. I thus spent many hours of my childhood in the field, lurking in front of mouse-holes, training beetles, busying ants with the transport of bread crumbs, later helping with the painstaking harvest. After twenty years, my parents gave up the asparagus field: the plants were too old for a good harvest, my parents too old for starting again. The land was leased - and today it was our destination.

“And what do you think?” My mother had jumped off her bicycle and pointed to the lush blue hem on the edge of the rye field. An infinite number of cornflowers, interspersed with poppies, chamomiles, pale yellow lion-moths, wild-oats, yarrow, plantain. “They’ve all come back since the farmer switched to organic. It was also high time: the bees here in the area were starving because there were no more flowers. Now the diversity of nature has a chance to survive once again.”

For a long time, we chatted at the edge of the field, exchanging memories and thoughts. How it once was, how it is, how it could be, how hopefully it will never be. Then we cycled home, but I returned a little later with my painting kit. I wanted to make my mother happy. She loves blue. Blue is the color of fidelity and longing, of heaven, of the seas, of cornflowers.


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