Tuesday, October 11, 2011
My Own Yellow Rose of Texas
I am sitting atop of coarse, brown grass, breathing in clean air under the big blue Texas sky. I am in the backyard of my home surrounded by a rough, unpainted six foot tall wooden fence about ten miles south of Austin, Texas.
One might expect that the green grass of the summer would be giving way to the darker colors of fall in mid-October. But this is different.
For here in Texas, we have had more than eighty-five days of triple digit temperatures. Combine the high temperatures with no rain, except for last weekend and the conditions have combined for the creation of the color brown where green should have been.
The summer in these parts ended in the worst drought in recorded history. No wonder that only thirty miles away, wildfires burned more than 1000 homes. Everything outside is dry.
I hear a dog bark in the distance.
The rose bush that I purchased upon arrival from South Alabama three and one-half years ago stands strong. I asked my oldest son Levi to plant it, because he inherited his father’s natural green thumb. I notice that there are no roses in bloom, but that is OK because during the spring, it is not unusual to see fifty yellow roses bursting forth amid the green leaves on this hearty plant.
My father began the tradition of planting rose bushes about thirty years ago when he planted a red rose bush outside the window of our den and living room in South Alabama. We sat inside admiring the beauty right outside the window.
He declared that he had planted this rose bush for my mother, with whom he shared forty-five years of marriage before he died seventeen years ago. Of course, he loved to save money, so he said that he would just plant the bush for her where she could see it and she would always have roses. Then, he wouldn’t have to go out and buy them for special occasions. This worked well for them.
I assigned my personality to his tradition by selecting yellow roses instead of red. I did this in honor of the song “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” I, too, bought it for my mom and asked her to select the place for planting.
A gentle breeze blows as I look upon the rosebush and am reminded of him, her and the love that they shared. I am also reminded of the arrival of my family in Texas. This is a symbol of my new geography.
I wrote this piece in response to an invitation to write "in place" by LL Barkat at Seedlings in Stone as part of her feature entitled "On, In and Around Mondays".
Copyright 2011 by Kathy Robbins