The saguaros are blooming!


They bloomed all at once, their tight flower buds emerging like a breakout on the forehead of a pubescent teenager. Indeed, they are a pimply sort of flower, taut green knobs that explode in a flare of white petals. Accustomed to the smooth crest of the easily-sketched saguaro shape, these protrusions are arresting, comical—and they are everywhere, crowning the tops every parking-lot saguaro, roadside stand, or, in my case, sentinel of a landscaped courtyard.

Actually, now that I begin to look, I see that all the cacti are blooming. My delight in the blooming cacti is an embarrassing yet unavoidable consequence of my delight in all things southwestern, from the kitschy to the cliché. Succulents bloom—the ocotillo in quiet red flares, the prickly pear in waxy yellow fists—and spring folds into summer, into the wavering heat of morning that lingers until the end of dusk. A second semester rolls to a close and suddenly it is summer in another sense. The academic term ends, I am released to write on my own time—time which has become something much more lolling. Meandering among bike rides, blooms, and quiet mornings.


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