“Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways,” – Oscar Wilde
Our old house is crying out for a fresh coat of paint, a visible indication of a new lease on life for a homestead that still looks a little forlorn.
The current powder blue has found a fan in Faye, our youngest, but I find it flat, insipid, a blue that gave up after not trying too hard in the first place. Maybe it couldn’t compete with the redness of the barn, the vibrant green of the grass or the complex, shifting blue-green of the inlet. Perhaps our house wanted to blend into the vast blueness of the sky but fell short, left hunkered on its stone foundation with a nothing-to-see-here-folks look.
So, the pale blue is going, but to be replaced with what? A new blue, that’s for certain. No other colour seems appropriate to our coastal location where longstanding residents still call themselves Bluenosers, an apparent holdover from the days when fishing crews risked frigid temperatures in pursuit of a big catch.
This seemingly trivial colour decision has taken on momentous proportions of late. Blue carries so many connotations; it can be hopeful, calming, noble, whimsical, mysterious. Blue can be youthful or staid, bold or boring. Despite the endless array of choices, no house paint sufficiently captures the mercurial hues of the North Atlantic or the particular brilliance of a Nova Scotia winter sky against an expanse of snow.
Our little house deserves a blue of its own, something to make it stand out proudly in its surroundings. For now I am shuffling chips, vacillating between brights, lights and darks.
In the end, though, the only true blue criteria is a shade that says “Welcome home.”