Sunday, November 12, 2006

Where to plant a yellow rose

A yellow rose outside our clinic. Mbabane, Swaziland

Late one afternoon last month, I stood outside the Baylor COE clinic and watched two landscapers discussing where to plant some recently-delivered flower bushes. Though I did not understand what they were saying, both seemed to be making a careful argument regarding aesthetics, light, shade, etc. They eventually agreed on a bare spot in a nearby bed and began picking up the flowers.

As they passed, I noticed they were yellow roses.

They were not quite like the oft-cited yellow roses that grow in east Texas, the kind that cost 60 bucks a dozen (an average Swazi’s monthly salary).

The stems were pragmatic and wiry, the thorns few. The petals were smaller and less compact, almost indelicate.

The flower was not slender and romantic like the ones we used to distribute to unsuspecting coeds on Texas Independence Day back at UT-Austin.

I remember those afternoons fondly, riding the campus shuttle around the university’s 40 acres, giving away roses, asking nothing in return.

An all-too-rare gesture.

As the gardeners carried the pots across the lawn, the yellow roses of Swaziland bounced with each step. They nodded at the mid-afternoon sun, as if reminding me that home was still out there.

Reminding me that I too was changing. Posted by Picasa



At 7:09 PM, Anonymous Yvette "sillychanga" said...

I would argue the yellow rose isn't the only Texas treasure to be found at the COE in Mbabane.

I hope you know that you do Texas proud with all you do for the children of Swaziland.


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