Pretty Survivor

petunia 01

A petunia, pink and true, peeked out from the sidewalk and arrested me in my tracks. I backed up a few steps, stalling my Monday morning stroll from Starbucks to the office, and paused in its pink glory. It seemed to peer up and over the little sidewalk crack where its roots made their home. A hidden anchor that had protected its existence up until now. The early morning sun lit it from behind, throwing a shadow longer than the bloom itself, and illuminating its bright cream throat.

It was not a perfect bloom. How could it be, in such circumstances and harsh surroundings? Slightly tattered, spotted in pale splashes of something, and smaller than its more carefully-cultivated cousins, it would not win any flower show awards. Yet there was magnificence to it. Valiantly blooming in a well-tread spot that could have trampled less-resilient beauties, it held its colorful head as high as it could, and in a sea of concrete it was the one object that caught my attention and admiration. For such a tiny thing, it packed a powerful visual punch, aided by the sun and perhaps its non-descript background.

On a Monday morning, when downtown Albany was under siege by fumes of horse dung and college-kid vomit, made more unbearable by the heat and humidity already in effect before 8 AM, this little petunia was a bright spot of color. Of imperfect beauty and flawed nobility. It shouted ‘Look at me!’ then tugged at the heart.

Hopefully nobody steps or urinates on it.

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