There's a lesson in this for me. Barbara Kingsolver says it well: "“Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer.”
My hydrangeas are coming into bloom–neither blue nor pink, but a paler shade of each, and the leaves are getting crispy at the edges. That's what comes of being planted in hard-packed soil, of seeking shade but being subjected, instead, to harsh sunlight.