Thank you, Hydrangea, for being so lovely, so simply four-petalled in your robust panicles, so soft-colored.
I like the story you tell me every time I see you on my kitchen counter, whispering now and faded.
You were a reason to stop - if I needed a reason to stop - and I was grateful for your graceful excuse, halfway up that long slow climb. And while I stood beneath your hometree's branches, breathing deeply, admiring you and all your sisters, the old woman who has tended you for years came home. I'd never talked to her before.
And your little old lady stood smiling with a golden glint and waving until I was out of sight.