I received a text from my green thumb neighbor Dustin this morning: “it is drier in Texas than it was during the dust bowl. CNN”. The not so surprising news made me reflect for a moment on a certain tree that I never even noticed before I moved here to Dallas. A beautiful flowering tree that both amazes and inspires me. The Crape Myrtle.
They seem to be everywhere in Dallas. Gorgeous white, pink, magenta, and lavender flowers blooming all summer long, as if in defiance to the long hot summer, surviving desert like conditions and showing off an incredible spectrum of colors. I don’t think a day passes where I don’t stop to marvel at not only their beauty, but their resilience as well. I am used to Florida, where colorful blooming flowers make sense --daily tropical summer rains to satisfy their thirst, so they won’t shrivel and fade away. But this summer in Texas, where conditions have been rivaling the dust bowl, it is a wonder to see any color other than brown.
Artists have something to learn from the Crape Myrtle. To live the creative life, we often go through dust bowl seasons. Times when conditions make it difficult, and sometimes almost impossible to let our creativity bloom. Family responsibilities, economic concerns, and physical issues can make us want to let our artistic impulses lose color and wilt. During those times, let us be as strong and resilient and display our colors as proudly as the Crape Myrtle. For how dull a world would be without the display of the rich and vibrant arts.