Rochester: “You have been resident in my house three months?”
Jane: “Yes, sir.”
Rochester: “And you came from–?”
Jane: “From Lowood school, in -shire.”
Rochester: “Ah! a charitable concern. How long were you there?”
Jane: “Eight years.”
Rochester: “Eight years! you must be tenacious of life.”
Driving home on February 23rd, I thought I caught a glimpse of a firewheel, Gaillardia pulchella, growing out of the pavement at the intersection of Loop 360 and Bluffstone Dr. The next morning I went back and, sure enough, in the paved triangle between the highway and the right turn lane that curves onto Bluffstone Dr. was a single firewheel that had somehow gotten a roothold* in a crack between the little island’s sections of concrete. The plant was tenacious of life in having gotten established in such an inhospitable place, and I can report that on my most recent drive-by, almost three weeks after I noticed it, its flower head was still there.
The background gray in the lower part of the photograph corresponds to the pavement, which fortunately remained out of focus. The black that forms the background in the upper part of the picture is from shaded trees farther away.
* If you want to be anthropomorphic you can change the r back to an f.
© 2013 Steven Schwartzman