It was this past Tuesday, the second day of March, a rare month that would have two full moons, and I was cleaning out the flower beds and was making my way to the bed of yellow pansies I had planted in a window box. As I got closer, I was astonished to see the yellow pansies had bloomed again; only this time, the flowers were a pretty blue, rather than their natural color of yellow. I was so amazed I went back into the house, washed my hands free of soil and debris, and went to my Darling Wife's sewing room to bring her outside to witness this botanical miracle.
Reluctantly, she put down the rotary cutter she was holding over some blue fabric that was destined to be sewn into a new quilt, and she looked up to me as I beckoned her out of the room. "This had better be good," she said. It had to be some enormous event to drag her away from her quilting.
"Just wait," I said as I pulled her through the hallway, past the kitchen, and outside the house. I pointed at the planter box outside the kitchen window. "The pansies are looking great," I said proudly.
She looked. "The flowers are all blue," she said. "That's impossible. What did you do to them?" She looked away from the planter box and straight at me.
"I didn't do anything. It has to be a miracle."
"Did you use Miracle-Gro?" she asked.
"No. I haven't fertilized them yet."
"What happened to the old yellow-colored pansies?"
"They were yellow when I watered yesterday."
"And now we have blue pansies?" She was very dubious.
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," I said wisely.
"I'll decide that," she said. She turned from me and moved closer to the planter box. "They look blue," she said. "But they don't smell blue."
"How does blue smell?" I asked. I didn't know colors smelled. Of course, she did have a sixth sense about color. Hadn't she once told me she could smell the aroma of fabric colors? I didn't really believe her. Did I?
"Blue smells like blue. Pale blue smells like pale blue. Sky blue smells like sky blue. Navy blue smells like navy blue."
"I didn't know you could distinguish the tones." I was very skeptical.
"Anyway," she said, 'they don't smell blue." She moved closer to the plant and began to lean toward it. She reached out her hand to a blossom. She took it in her hand. She sniffed it. Then she stood, petals in hand.
"So?" I asked. Now do you believe me?
She didn't answer right away. She looked around the planter box. She looked above the planter box. My eyes followed hers. I saw what she saw. There was the wall of the house, the kitchen window, the spider web that stretched from under the eaves two feet across to the dryer vent. I saw a large spider prowling the web, looking for a meal. "Hah!" she said as she turned back to me.
"Hah?" I didn't see anything to "Hah" at. Then she began to laugh. And she laughed. And laughed.
"So, you've become hysterical over a miracle of nature?" I asked. She had something up her sleeve. I knew she did.
"Blue pansies," she laughed. She laughed at me. Me, her darling husband! She stopped laughing a moment, chuckled, and held out her hand with the blue blossom she had picked. "Look," she said.
I looked as she pushed her hand closer and closer to my face, right up to my eyes. I focused. I looked hard.
"Thread bunnies," she said.
"You know what dust bunnies are?"
"Dust motes," I answered wisely.
"These are blue motes. Or in your case, thread and lint blossoms." She grinned. Oh, it seemed a very evil grin.
"What are you saying?" Somehow she had gone from nature back to quilting.
"The petals are all the color of the fabric I bought yesterday, aren't they?" Her smile curled.
I did remember her bringing home more fabric. Was it blue? Was it the fabric she had been cutting? I wasn't sure. I looked at what I had in my hand. My blossom was a small ball of tangled blue thread. Periwinkle blue, I decided. "Your fabric was periwinkle blue," I said smartly.
"I washed the fabric and it must have unraveled along the selvage and some threads came loose and the dryer spit the blue threads and blue lint out of the vent right above the planter box." For some reason she laughed again.
I looked up at the vent. I looked down at the plant. I reached for the blossoms. One after another. They were all little tangled messes of thread and lint "Thread and lint bunnies," I said, now all-knowing. But I could catch her yet. "So why can't you smell their color?"
"They're dried flowers," she said. "They've lost their fragrance."
"Oh," I said.
"And your job is to pick them all off the plant and uncover the yellow. I have to go back inside and finish cutting my blue fabric." And off she went, her laughter fading as she closed the front door on me.
I still say it was a miracle when the yellow pansies bloomed blue. Maybe it only happens once in a blue moon.
Copyright 1999 by A.B. Silver
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