Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I don't know why I was thinking about this today.

Many years ago, I don't remember exactly how old I was but somewhere between 18 and 25, I was living at home and I remember being really depressed about a lot of things. One day my Mom came home from the store with a small cactus plant for me. I had tried having plants in the windowsill and I always killed them. A cactus I could take care of. I sat it up in the windowsill and gave it just a little bit of water.

Every Saturday for several weeks, or maybe even months, I watered that cactus. I remember one Saturday my Mom walking by the doorway and she asked me what I was doing. The conversation went something like this....

Mom: What are you doing Barbara?
Me: watering the cactus Mom.
Mom: Why?
Me: So I don't kill it.
Mom: Look at the cactus...
Me: What? ( I look)
Mom: Pick up the cactus Barbara.
Me: No, it's a cactus, it's gonna prick me.
Mom: Pick up the cactus.
I remember giving her a weird look and picking up the cactus.

Mom had given me a PLASTIC cactus. All I was doing was watering dirt and peat moss. Somewhere in there I'm sure Mom was trying to teach me a valuable lesson or at least give me a small boost to my self esteem at the time. I don't know.

We have this cactus garden in our backyard. Until recently it was being invaded by weeds and a crepe myrtle tree that kept growing up in the middle of it. We finally had our lawn guys dig it all out and they now keep it free from weeds and the tree. It is thriving and growing.

Sometimes you have to water a plastic cactus and sometimes you have to dig out the weeds. Life can be very prickly, but if you get to the fruit, (although I've never eaten any) I hear it is really good. I love to look at that cactus every May when the flowers bloom. Bright orange and yellow buds that peek out from the sea of green. Sounds like a colorful quilt.

I don't know what ever happened to that plastic cactus, but it is a reminder today that sometimes life needs "watering".

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