The Cactus Rose


desert life-8255

desert life-8256

Big Bend, 2006. This is the Chihuahuan desert, arid and spartan by the standards of many. But life is abundant here and after a rain this brown land blossoms into a delicate thing of beauty. This is the flower of the prickly pear cactus. Many confuse it with The Yellow Rose of Texas, but there is no connection. The latter refers to Emily D. West who, legend tells, aided the Texans in their victory at San Jacinto.

Whenever I see this delicate but wild flower I think about Tom Doniphon who expressed his love for Hallie by giving her a cactus rose. In another post I related the undying love of Delores Gavino Doporto. Tom loved like that, too. and sacrificed his personal dreams to ensure the future happiness of his girl. If you do not know his story, I highly recommend John Ford’s wonderful movie, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.


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