Easter was one of my favourite days, a day to celebrate Spring and Handel on KCET and Easter baskets full of candy. I didn’t even mind church, it would smell like wax and masses of Easter lilies and the sermon would be about love and joyfulness and life and the hymns would be some of my favourites. Then home and an ever more challenging hunt for Easter Eggs and later a feast of a dinner…
But early Easter morning was mine and clear and bright and full of promise and I would wander out in my shabby old robe to pick flowers for the table and Spring in the Sonoran Desert is extraordinary though I think many people never see it. I love England’s banks of daffodils and masses of bulbs, but miss the more secret, delicate beauty of flowers that bloom amongst the rocks and gravel.
And Phacelias, these do often grow in banks of glorious blue:
The queen of desert flowers because they are more rare and the colour of cobalt, larkspur:
Globemallows, these grow everywhere, especially in old lots throughout the city, thriving where nothing else seems to grow:
Fiddleneck — but those little hairs along the stems hurt your hands, so I often left them out:
There were other poppies, tall and pale yellow and also rare. Desert honeysuckle:
Eriatrum Difussum or miniature woolystar — these carpeted the hill behind my house along with monoptilon bellioides:
Desert lupins (but is that what we called them or what they really are?)
Not all of these went into the bouquets of course, clutched in my little hands and lovingly arranged. And there are a number that are missing from those recovered in this March expedition, like desert chicory. I took all of these pictures in the Spring of 2009, I can’t remember why I was in Tucson but it was the last Spring spent with my dad.
Funny that I was born on Easter Sunday, so I remember we used to treat it as more of a birthday than the day I was actually born, though I think that stopped when I was quite little. My dad died on Easter Sunday the year after I took these. I can’t decide now if it is a day too overburdened by significance, or good that life and death should all be wrapped up like this. It is not my decision anyway.
I am often sad, however, that I am not still running around the desert in my sandals and faded blue dress.