L’heure bleue

Heure bleue

Blue was never my favourite colour. Perhaps everyone else just loved it too much. I preferred green — for nature, for hope and for something else, maybe the bit of Irish blood that runs in my veins. Also, it was my mother’s favourite colour.

Lately I’ve come to appreciate the vast talents of blue. I love its myriad shades that mark the seasons here in our corner of Lake Geneva. The skies, of course, but also the mountains and lakes. No two blues are ever quite the same. There are so many variations on its theme, from bright and promising to dark and menacing. It is steel and intensely teal and sometimes it is just impossibly bright.

Lac Léman

And then there is ‘l’heure bleue’, the blue hour. I only just recently learned what this expression means. That magic twilight hour before the sun sets in the evening and rises in the morning, when the entire horizon is somehow infused with blue. It is a light that highly appreciated by artists and has inspired songs.

Blue is also the colour of cold. It describes, at least in English, a quality of sadness that often accompanies these cold months. And what other colour has an entire genre of music named after it? Am I blue? Perhaps not, but I already feel the need for a fresh infusion of spring.

As winter reaches its snowy crescendo and the north wind blows at its coldest, we have some truly amazing blue hours. There is something about the light in January, especially when there’s snow, that is bluer than anything.

Yet during this coldest of winter months, I find myself thinking about those wonderful ‘blue hour’ sunsets over the lake in summer. That first one, when we sat outside by the lake one April evening, that convinced us that this was the place we wanted to come home to.

What is your fondest memory of blue? Or blues?