Texas summers sizzle starting the end of April. Sundrenched days, with soaring temperatures, sap energy so that by August, even birds of prey sag as they catch thermals. Dust carried over the ocean from Africa finally rests on Live Oak leaves or coats tired purple sage. The large leaved cannas unfold in the shade, avoiding direct sunlight by tucking their blossoms into the shadows. The oppressive heat kicks our world into slow-motion. We wait impatiently for the first cold front that signals rusty Autumn.
That first push of cooler air hits around the end of September, bringing Texas’s second Spring with raindrops and thunderheads. Our Mother, cracked crazily by heat, thirstily gulps each droplet. Her fissured face softens with the moisture. She smiles and sighs, her joyous relief sprouting grasses dormant from the drought, budding blue blossoms on plumbego, rejuvenating Mexican lantana, and pulling the wandering Jew out of dimness and into this kinder sunlight.
Outside my window, tucked into an L of our house, grows a pink rosebush. Brought home years ago as a gift for Mother’s Day, this little plant survives each year, coming back tenaciously after brief freezes and lengthier dry spells. When our second Spring arrives, this small rosebush celebrates with one last rose.
Trapped within the confines of the house in caring for my mother, my eyes constantly drift to the windows’ views. As I wash dishes, I watch our squirrels hoard acorns from the Live Oak. When this lone rosebud appeared, I felt drawn to capturing its beauty, to chronicling the last rose of this year.
Copyright 2012 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman