In the mid-northeast universe I apparently inhabit, I have a grumpy and balding husband who boils artichokes, a coffee machine, and a fifteen year old double pink hibiscus that blossoms once every four or five years.
In this case "once" is a portmanteau word meaning one lousy flower on one random day once in every five years. Or so. Not to mention that hibiscus flowers last but a single day before shriveling to a crepe paperish husk.
Yesterday the hibiscus bloomed. To what do I offer hosannas? I've tried starving and feeding, watering and neglecting, sunning and shading, caring and not.
Not caring is perhaps what brought about this abrupt and unexpected blossoming of a plant left lolling in semi-abandonment in a blistering hot solarium for a week. It was so dry the leaves dangled like shriveled jalapeno peppers, fully a third of them as vividly yellow as the goldenrod now eclipsing the roadsides.
I might even have missed the blessed event had not a sudden climate change brought along such a fine cool breeze that we flung open the windows and in this case the door.
I thought at first the splotch of salmony pink suspended from a branch was a tissue, but then asked myself, as I do, "And where pray tell would that have come from?" (Note: I'm very polite with myself on paper--or keyboard. This is not at all what I actually said...Which began, "What the f...").
So I tip-toed out, squinting without my glasses, and reached with disbelieving fingers to touch a flower already somewhat exhausted with its efforts. Then backed away slowly so as not to frighten it into dead fall, I grabbed my camera from my desk and crept forth again to shoot it. I believe the depth of my emotion is apparent in the photo's slight blur.