Cactuses have always intrigued me. It could be due to the fact that there weren’t any wild ones growing in Kansas. The only thing closest to a cactus you could get is the ones they strategically placed in the Mexican restaurants to accentuate the vibe. Cactuses are such interesting plants because of their ability to grow in the most driest of conditions. Nevada’s desert climate lets this type of vegetation prosper. They are everywhere dotted along the streets and planted on people’s lawns. This prickly plant, although sinister looking is actually quite beautiful.
I remember when I was young, my family and I were vacationing in Colorado. It was usually my mother, my grandmother, my sister and I. We have relatives living down there and we tried to visit them once a year. It was a breath of fresh compared to Kansas. The fresh air, the pines, and the mountains are something I looked forward to every year. We were hiking a small trial along the Rockies. My sister and I were lagging behind, the evaluation fatigued us. My family decided to stop so that we could eat some lunch. I was never a fan of the lunch that they packed. It usually consisted of sandwiches, chips, crackers, canned cheese, and an assortment of fruits and vegetables. I hated sandwiches. I sat off to the side and bitterly ate my crackers and fruit. That’s when I saw it. The little cactus. It was sitting the idling on its own, growing in the middle of the campsite. My sister spotted my find and ran over to examine.
“Can we take it home?” she asked.
My mother shook her head, “We don’t have anywhere to put it and I don’t think it will survive in Kansas.”
My sister took her spoon and began to dig it out. I carefully helped her extract the cactus until we finally had it uprooted. My mother came over, rolling her eyes. She began to clean up the area so that we could continue on our hike. My grandmother found a bag and carefully plucked the cactus from the ground and placed it in the baggy. She placed it in her purse and winked at us.
When we got back to Kansas, my grandmother planted it into a pot. It remained there for a year or so and then died. My mother was right. It couldn’t survive in the Kansas climate. All I wanted was to take a piece of Colorado with me.