Mornings still in the high 20s this week; even the daffodils haven’t come up yet so unable to sate my craving for blossoms I took these cactus pictures.
These plants are guardedly ancient- the Cereus peruvianus monstrose dates to my wife’s early childhood, and the Pilosocereus pachycladus shares our wedding anniversary. Old, wooden and seasonally disinclined, still the pairing has a connection with spring the belies the sexless, leathery and sullenly spiny carcasses of the plants. Not a flattering association by any means, but a modest nostalgic one in the traditions of any devoted pairing growing from a spot on a mutual calendar. Brute perennial inevitability. No romantic flourishes or even obvious compatibility except the proximity to its own consoling number. Near, rather than together. Dates, rather than weather.
John Steinbeck comes to mind:
Certain events such as love, or a national calamity, or May, bring pressure to bear on the individual, and if the pressure is strong enough, something in the form of verse is bound to be squeezed out. National calamities and loves have been few in my life, and I do not always succumb to May.
-The Paris Review, Fall 1969