Today is Summer Solstice. So many plants have been flowering in Arizona for quite some time now, but it looks like the Springtime flower celebration has finally ceased. We’ve hit the “June wall”–the month that can be the hottest and driest of the year. Until last weekend, our potted roses were going nuts–best year ever–but they are naked of flowers this week. The leaves are drying out and dropping away. Any new growth has been claimed by local cutter bees that have sawed circles in the leaves and flown away with the leafy circles to build nests for their soon to come offspring. Check out this cutter bee artistry:

Though we’ve officially stepped into MONSOON season this week, the rains are not yet here. As if to convey that message more clearly to us humans, last weekend, Hubby and I had a chance to witness what appeared to be a momentary burst of life from one of the larger cactus plants on our property. This one plant is taller than my husband, with maybe 50 more arms. But the plant was anything but manly last weekend. In fact, it was rather girlish… flaunting huge, gorgeous white flowers in the early hours of sunlight on Saturday. She put on quite the show!

Mark spotted her from inside the house and cried out, “Susan, come quick. Come see this!”

I couldn’t make out if it was a call to see something freakish or lovely, but it definitely sounded like it would be for something fascinating.

Out the window, I saw that huge cactus covered in colossal white blooms. “Will you look at that!” Mark said like he were one-tenth his age, like he’d seen a flying elephant. We’d never seen a flower on this plant before. There were dozens of flowers, all of them larger than my hand.

An hour or so later, they all but disappeared. Poof! Like magic!

Closing up again, one by one!

They all closed up, never to open again. We had that feeling about it, too, like this was a temporary gift to whomever might be looking. That’s why I went outside and took as many photos as I could, knowing I’d love to share it with you all.

I can’t say it enough: Nature is such a wonderful gift to humans. We are so blessed to have these surprises and miracles surrounding us every day. Most of the time, many of us rush through our days, forgetting to look up from our computers, our phones, our TVs, our books, our tasks. We miss out on so much beauty–the stuff that could turn our days around, make us smile, bring us back to center.

I guess my message today is to enjoy this longer-than-usual gift of daylight and maybe just step away from the usual things that eat up your day and look outside for miracle, wrapped up like a gift, meant especially for you.

Love and peace,