I suspect that it may be true that chocolate milk comes from chocolate cows.
It has been a miraculous few days of pleasant temperatures, light winds, and sky and clouds as brightly blue and white as Delft pottery. Last week temperatures rose on the shoulders of humidity and for me at least, leaving the shadowy and air-conditioned precincts of the house was all but impossible. The most gentle of activity even after the setting of the sun produced washes of briny sweat that stung my eyes.
The past two mornings, however, I have pinned back my hair and donned old tee-shirt and muddy overalls. I have dug in flowers, spread mulch and schlepped buckets of pearly river cobbles from a place where they do not good to various locations where their pale shapes veined with ochre and gray are more useful and certainly more ornamental.
Now that it is June, the light is ever more green, almost “too green” as my painter-friend Georgeann was wont to say of the Iowa landscape we shared for a few summers. Leaves completely obscure neighboring houses that are fully visible in winter. Nearby I can distinguish the silvery tint of the weeping willow from the yellower tone of the black willow behind it. The foliage of the lonicera vine massing along the fence looks almost blue next to the scarlet trumpets of its blossoms. Even closer, the clethra bushes are as green as the green onyx of my high-school class ring lost to burglars twenty-five years ago. In the distance, though, in the canopy formed by oaks and gums and beeches, it is all just green, bottle green glinting with sunshine, pooling darker in areas of shadow. Patches of color from pink primrose, purple lavender, snowy clematis and the startling azure of a passing bluebird pick out a tune over these great chords of green.
Green also infuses the kitchen where new countertops, rich and verdant quartz-and-glass conglomerate, were installed a couple of weeks ago. The new glass-tile backsplash is a color called “Arctic Ice” but it is not so much the blue of icebergs as the pale green of cold, cold water.
I sat on a weedy slope digging river rocks from the red clay matrix that holds them, dropping them in an old bucket, listening to the clunk as they hit the galvanized metal. They are all sizes from pebble to stones that weigh heavy in my hand. I reach with a dirty glove for a surprisingly blue one not far from my foot and stop when I realize it is a tiny eggshell. I grasp it with now-gloveless fingers and turn it over. Through the jagged hole in the other side I can see it is empty and clean.
My Dear One tells me it is a bluebird egg. I am delighted. “Bluebirds come from blue eggs,” I say.
A related thought pops into my mind. Could it be true then, that chocolate milk comes from chocolate cows?