On our walk we passed two men ("dopes", the husband said) cutting a sapling for firewood on a housing estate. After dinner I set down a bucket full of nuts for a cow in a field. She is sweet and mild, blue-grey, like the mountains at the western horizon, fringed by alpenglow. What is blue but the color of distance? The color at the edges of things, of night and dreams and fugitive feelings. The color of the sacred, of the Virgin Mary's mantle. The color of the underworld and faraway spaces, of the last mysteries, of yearning and forgetting. The color of consolation in the darkest hour.