I once drove through a neighborhood and spotted an obviously abandoned house whose walls were literally covered with a sprawling bougainvillea plant that had grown out of control. The blooms were a magnificent deep wine color and they were winding around the crumbling wooden structure in profusion. What should have been a dreary scene of a long neglected property was instead a glorious feast for the eyes. I’ve often thought about that lovely image and seen it as a kind of metaphor for life’s difficulties. It seems that the more stressed a bougainvillea vine becomes the more beautiful and hardy are its flowers. The bougainvillea is a determined survivor often flourishing in the harshest of environments.
The image of that lovely vine often reminds me of one of my aunts who turned ninety two this weekend. In a congratulatory birthday announcement her daughter-in-law joked that she wanted to be just like this remarkable women. I countered that I too have always wanted to emulate my Aunt “Speedy” for she is no ordinary woman. In fact, hers is a story worthy of Hollywood. Her life is a page turner. Continue reading “Flower in the Desert”