Notes on Cactus Flower

Cactus Flower, 2003

I can’t remember ever seeing a cactus flower until I moved to California. Having grown up in the East, where the climate just wasn’t hospitable to such things, cacti and other succulent plants were valued more for their stubborn refusal to die — despite a boy’s difficulty in remembering to water regularly — than for the kind of exotic beauty found in the West.

Enduring my 10th winter in Chicago, I needed some color and a reminder of warmer days.