Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The First Bluebonnets of Spring

Two weeks ago, as I drove to work, my normal route was given a burst of seasonal specialness. As a looked forward at a T-stop, I saw tiny bursts of blue in the grassy ditch ahead. The first bluebonnets of spring. I've spotted a few more groupings since then, pretty blues and even one side of the road field of Indian paintbrushes, the other wildflower that takes over this time of year. Other patches are still in the leaf phase. But soon, there will be bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes speckling the sides of almost every road in the heart of Texas.

It's one of the things I love about this state. It almost makes up for the absolutely offensive things about it. For instance, the fact that it is now required by law for a woman to have a sonogram before undergoing an elective abortion. This state flower is the only thing which can make anyone think of Texas as a blue state as it covers each grassy knoll. There are certainly plenty of things that can grate on my nerves about being somewhere so politically lonely at times. But for just a moment, bluebonnets almost make up for all of that. Maybe that's weird, taking flowers as concillation for some very real issues. Hey, I'm a girl, what can I say?

The thing with the bluebonnets is, it signifies the beginning of spring, as does the fact that this week is spring break for most Austin students. Yet another blip on the timeline that was mine just last year. This time twelve months ago, I would be right where I am now, but just for two weeks before returning to campus to get down to the business of finishing up a semester. It's a strange reminder that time is passing by faster than I would like or can even believe. Even though that's is something I'd rather not think about, the flowers still make me smile, because they also make me think of the countless childhood photos I've taken amongst the wildflowers, annual portraits my mother took to mark another year gone by.

So for me, bluebonnets are one of those little things that make home home. Like Big Red soda and Blue Bell ice cream, it's one of those background details that comforts me just by being there.

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