Saguaro

Or “sahuaro”…I have seen it spelled both ways, but the pronunciation is the same, so what’s in a spelling? Right?

There is an “old guy” outside of my bedroom window. According to the neighbors who have lived here many years before me (us), this cactus has been home to many birds. Mary, our neighbor, once chased a snake from the area as he was trying to climb the cactus in order to get to the bird’s eggs. She hit it with a rake, so the story goes.

This cactus has also been hit by lightning-hence the “funny” flat top it sports. But he has recovered and has grown new arms. We have been blessed with a hearty monsoon season this year, so Mr. Saguaro is currently “fat and happy”.  He has scars and pits and missing parts. But I imagine him happy.

I think of him growing here, small and hidden, enveloped by the nursing plants that surrounded him when he was just a seedling. They do that, these hearty, strong plants that can grow up to 40 feet and weigh a ton. They start small and helpless, but are protected by mesquite, creosote, palo verde and other plants. They eventually push them out of the way so that they can grow tall, reach the sun, stretch their arms (or sometimes just stay one upward-rising spear), until they surpass the parent plant.

I get to see my daughter in two weeks. I turn 61 in about three weeks. I have been both the saguaro and the mesquite tree. She is now the tall, strong spear that I have protected for many years.  She is reaching for the sun. She will grasp it and hold it to her heart.DSCN5439

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