Monday, September 27, 2010

Elsewhere in Time

In a parallel universe I live on a tropical island where pink hibiscus dangle heavy-headed from pina colada trees (and my waist is still 24 inches and the gorgeous--and exceptionally hetero--beach boys keep the guacamole coming).

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.

 And then today came and the hibiscus is downed and the wait begins again.

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