Between December and the end of February, the mid-desert around Globe, Arizona, (higher than the desert floor, but not as high at 4,000 feet–the high desert) got nine inches of rain. Highly unusual in the desert. Seeds protected in casings, coverings and buried deep underneath the granite rock are coming awake. With that much rain, the Mexican poppies with their gray foliage and bright yellow petals will sweep across miles of desert. Lupines, in purpley-blue will be stitched between them.
Tomorrow, the last day of February, and a day as rare as the Spring abundance of flowers, I’m taking off and driving into the desert to see the flowers. I told Anna about it on the phone.
“So besides the poppies and lupines, what else is there?” Anna asked.
“I’m not sure. Plants grow in their own time, maybe it’s just the poppies and lupines now, and other things as Spring turns into summer,” I said.
“It would be better if they’d all bloom at once. That would look better,” Anna said.
I sighed. There is a special beauty in not having every fruit and flower available all year. Growing up, the only vegetables available in winter were root vegetables. When the first asparagus came in Spring, they tasted like the green of the season. We savored them. Today, you can buy new asparagus any time of year. I’m not so sure that’s a good thing.
“I think you appreciate each individual flower more in their own time,” I said carefully. Anna was sensitive, and I didn’t want her to feel wrong, just because I feel differently.
“It’s, like, a waste of gas,” she pressed on. “You’ll have to go back to see the others. It would be better for your vacation schedule if you could get it over with at once.”
I don’t want to get it over with all at once. I like to savor each moment Nature gives me. I’m fine with the idea of not having everything at once. I like waiting, it makes the arrival more special. And tomorrow, when I drive out to Globe, to see the arboretum, I’ll be happy that I can take another day off to drive down the road in sunshine in another few weeks.
–Image: Mexican poppy, ww.saguaro-juniper.com
–Quinn McDonald is a certified creativity coach who is learning about desert life, and the creativity it engenders. Her notes are gathered under the title “Under the Acacia Tree.”