Cactus In Bloom

I notice you
From the corner of my eye
Ruby red buds.
You draw me in
For a closer look.
Sophisticated patterns
Of painful beauty.
Like a rose
With prickly tips.
No one
Who truly
Reaches out
And touches your core
Comes away
Spilling at least one drop
Of blood.
But if you’re willing
Delving closer
You’ll find
Something worth so much more.
For hidden
Beneath that prickly
Is sweetness
And sustenance.
It can be the one thing
In the desert of your life
Where you find
The water you crave,
That gives you strength
To press forward;
To never give up.

On my husband’s birthday we went to visit my mom.  She had us over for lunch to celebrate both that and our anniversary.  Next to her lanai, I saw this cactus.  So beautiful and intricate.  I snapped a couple of pictures knowing I was going to share it with all of you, but not sure what else I’d be doing.  And then I saw these awesome blogs about husbands and their super powers!  Natalie had her Hubby’s Corner and Jansen Schmidt blogged about “I’m Watching That”.  Both were hilariously done.

And as I sat thinking about my own husband and his super power I realized.  His super power is his ability to out wait me and his insight.  Boring, right?  So maybe I should tell you how we met.  I was 19 years old and working at an information/reception desk.  He’s honest enough to admit that the first thing he noticed about me was my butt.  In fact he even told me “you could bounce quarters off your butt!”  Fortunately this wasn’t until after I’d gotten to know him a little bit or I probably would’ve thought him a pig and not given him the time of day.  I mean let’s be real.  Vanity has women primping, posing and wearing make up along with flattering outfits, but we all secretly harbor the hope that the first thing a guy will notice about us is our intelligence or kindness or some other characteristic that isn’t visible at first glance.  Right?

Back when I met him he was lucky enough to catch me in one of those soul searching phases.  You know, thoste times when you question who your real friends are, who’s using you and what your purpose is in the world.  Lucky him.  Because I wasn’t really in a place where I was all that interested in dating.  In fact, I’d come to the conclusion that very few of my friends were “real” friends and was in the process of cleaning house.  He told me that during that time, as pretty as I was, I gave off a “don’t touch me” vibe that kept many potential suitors away.  In fact I made him feel “like he could do chin ups on a penny”.  His words, not mine.

Why any man would decide they wanted me during that time…I have no idea.  But I thank God for it every day.  He was sneaky about it, too.  He befriended me.  He actually allowed himself to be put in the friend zone.  ON PURPOSE!  Because apparently, he saw beyond the surface.  Much, much later he told me that he watched the way I treated the elderly people who would come to me with questions or help.  Or the volunteers that worked with me.  He watched how I trained a couple of co-workers and how I talked to my closest friends.  He saw that I hid a very big heart.  Dang him for his emotional xray vision.  I was trying to hide that!

But he’d decided within a month that he wanted me.  And he came at me with singleminded determination.  Truth to tell, he was so slick that although I knew he wanted me (everyone knew this…worst kept secret ever!), I never even realized he was courting me.  About 6 months into our friendship (and he’d become my best friend) he conned me into going out with him…as friends..but inviting me to see a Brandon Lee movie.  I never could resist a pretty man, so I went.  After that we were pretty much inseperable.  This sometimes irked whatever random guy I was dating, but then they rarely lasted more than a month.  We’d even talk about the guy I was dating.  I still remember the day he looked at me, shaking his head and said, “How is it that you can be so dead on and perceptive about practically everyone but whatever guy you decide to date?”  The answer is easy…Things are always clearer when you’re not directly involved.

Why am I telling you this?  Because he recognized the sweet spot in me (the prickly cactus).  And he was willing to bleed a little (or maybe it was a lot) to help me feel ready and secure that he was the person I could count on to be there for me for the rest of my life.  It only took him 16 years to get it through my thick skull.  LOL!  If you read my blog from yesterday, you probably figured out that I have a few natural defenses.  You see, I’m one of those old fashioned girls who decided a long time ago that divorce would only be an option for me if there was physical abuse or cheating involved.  I also wanted to be sure that any child I had would never wonder about whether or not his/her father loved him/her.  Those are pretty big hang ups.  Fortunately, his super powers…like I said…are waiting me out (aka patience) and his insight.

I think it’s pretty amazing that he thought I was worth the wait.  What about you?  What kind of super powers does the person who shares your life have?  Is it funny?  Is it sweet?  There is no wrong answer…but it’s fun to hear!

18 thoughts on “Cactus In Bloom

  1. Phil Lanoue says:

    My wife’s super power is perpetual optimism. She will always see what’s good and right about a situation while I am more then capable of finding things wrong.
    This not just compliments me but I have grown to rely on it.


    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      That’s fantastic. Artists need those perpetual optimists…especially during those moments when you start to question your gifts. Cheerleaders are an integral part of maintaining world balance! 🙂


  2. Natalie Hartford says:

    AWWWW love that!! Your hubby is fahhhhbulous and his superpowers are STELLAR!!! I am brought to tears reading your love story. It’s one for the books darlin’!! Tremendous….
    And thanks for the fabulous shout out. I also luved Jansen’s post. Cracked me up. LOL!! I was telling hubby about it last night and he was saying he thought I had the SAME superpowers as Jansen’s hubby….moi?!?!?! LOL!!
    GREAT post and here’s to you and yours and the many years of happiness to come….MUAH!


  3. lenwilliamscarver says:

    Oh what a marvelous are both blessed to have each other!
    I have been trying to nominate my hubs for sainthood because he loves and cares for me so much but alas they say he has to perform miracles…I thought anyone that could tolerate let alone LOVE me was performing a miracle, then they said he had to be dead well if I have my way he will never make sainthood with that requirement! LOL


  4. Emma says:

    Loved your poem.
    It’s so true that things are clearer when you’re outside of what’s happening. You and your husband sound like a cool couple.
    I’m still on the look out for my other half 🙂


  5. journalpulp says:

    It’s a lovely poem, a lovely post.

    There’s another cactus poem, written some thirty years ago, by an excellent though relatively obscure poet named Robert Hayden (1913 — 1980), called “The Night-Blooming Cereus,” which is strangely difficult to find. It’s a beautiful poem, which yours reminded me a little of.


    The Night-Blooming Cereus

    And so for nights
    we waited, hoping to see
    the heavy bud
    break into flower.

    On its neck-like tube
    hooking down from the edge
    of the leaf-branch
    nearly to the floor,

    the bud packed
    tight with its miracle swayed
    stiffly on breaths
    of air, moved

    as though impelled
    by stirrings within itself.
    It repelled as much
    as it fascinated me….


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