Just after dinner the other night, I was rinsing the dishes at the kitchen sink and putting them into the dishwasher. This was a mindless chore I performed just about every night, as I have yet assigned this duty to the kids. They would take too long, and I have little patience.

I chanced to look up at the kitchen window, and was taken aback at what I saw!

A flower on our cactus plant!

“Hey! Our cactus grew a flower!” I gasped.

The kids run over to have a look, and we marveled at this often ignored plant that sat quietly at the kitchen window.

I bought this cactus plant for my 11-year-old’s first grade science project about five years ago. It helped my child earn a ribbon, then retired to the kitchen window ever since. It lived this long, only because it is a cactus! I am an awful gardener, most of my plants die within just a few months. This cactus had survived my unstructured watering schedule for years. And now I am glad.

Upon closer examination, its flower was extraordinarily beautiful. The lone flower was light orange, with multiple layers of thin and long pedals, and a lump of purple in the middle. We came to visit the cactus and her flower many times that night, and took photos.

As suddenly as it appeared, by late next day, the flower wilted. It folded into a light orange lump, then fell off the end of the cactus.

Our cactus is back to its normal self again. But now, I have developed a certain respect for this surprising plant. When I do dishes now, I always make a point to peek at it on purpose, hoping to see its beauty blossom again.

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Category: Parents
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