A patch of small purple flowers blooms on the edge of our road where it dips and curves. I’m not sure when they first staked their claim in that spot. The first time I really noticed them, there was frost on their delicate petals, but it didn’t diminish the purple color, still bright and vivid and fresh.
All winter, I kept watch, every morning expecting to find them killed by the cold, but they held on. When spring arrived and the days warmed, they thrived, spreading into the ravine next to the road, joined by a few sprigs of different yellow flowers that quickly faded.
They continued to hold on, despite construction equipment that came in late spring to build a driveway. Somehow they dodged the bobcat that cleared the area and the tires of the trucks that pulled off to park there.
According to my Texas flowers book, they are prairie verbena. It’s not a very pretty name, but otherwise I think it fits. The word “prairie” conjures images of tough pioneer women, determined to overcome one hardship after another to make a life for themselves and their families.
Even now, when the green around us is fading, the mountain pinks are drying up, and the Mexican hats bordering our front path have lost their orange and yellow brims, even now when rain is just a memory, there is still a small patch of prairie verbena down in the curve.
I want to be like these purple flowers that stubbornly hang on despite the turmoil around them, that continue to bloom and be beautiful and brighten up someone’s day.