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.