Whenever we enter the Sonora, we watch for the lone saguaro on a hill. This one stands apart from the rest, as if on guard. Small groups gradually increase in number as we continue inward to the heart of the desert.
There are many legends about the saguaro, and many facts to learn. Just for a start, the “g” is not pronounced (sah-wah-ro), and they produce their first blossoms at age 70 and their first arms after a century.
As I contemplate the final third of my life on earth, saguaros have special meaning to me. They symbolize resilience, surviving under the onslaughts of time and seasons. Aged and weathered, sometimes with injured, drooping limbs, they still stand. Even their scars (called boots) can be useful and decorative. They shelter birds and nourish bats. To me, saguaros demonstrate that age is no barrier to blossoming and producing fruit.