Milam County Historical Commission - Milam County, TX
Statue of Ben Milam at Milam County, TX Courthouse
Old Junior High School Building, Rockdale, TX
Milam County Courthouse - Cameron, TX
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Milam County Historical Commission
Milam County, Texas
                                   50 YEARS HENCE, PART 2

                                Life Lessons From Cactus Saga
                                    By Susie Sansom-Piper
                                   Reporter contributor

                                     Rockdale Reporter

Twas in the early spring, when birds began to sing happily as they searched for materials to build new homes.

Trees were putting on their green foliage, and farmers were readying the soil to plant their early crops. Plants that had been removed from their sheltered places that served as protection from the cold wintry months, had been placed in their summer abodes.

One would assume that winter was over and spring had arrived. But suddenly, Jack Frost with his beautiful shiny white coat paid an unexpected visitation, and many
of the plants that had been placed in their summer positions suffered from his bite. Being a potted plant lover, but never really having major success, I was somewhat discouraged, because my little cactus was among those plants that Jack Frost had chosen. This plant was special, because it was a gift from a dear friend. It was green with little white spines, but in its hidden beauty, it managed to camouflage itself, for you could pick it up with your naked hand and not get stuck.

The secret was that “outwardly, it portrayed an appearance of toughness,” but “inwardly, there was a tender touch,” a special softness and seemingly kindness.

The little cactus grew and grew, and soon its little green nodules had spread all over the pot, making an unusual beautiful bouquet with its tiny white spines.

Not being aware of an oncoming, sudden change of weather, to my surprise the
little cactus suffered tremendous damage.

It had dropped its tiny nodules, taken on a burnt, brownish color, and withered
down to the edge of the pot. It looked so sad and forlorn, until I was tempted to “trash” it, but because it was a gift, I relied on my instinct, hoping that
watering and perhaps a good rain would revive this plant.

The little cactus seemed to say: “I’m not giving up. I’m going to keep trying.” Though unseen, its little roots pushed deeper into the soil to gather the hidden nutrients that had been stored during the winter months.

Six weeks passed swiftly by, and just looking at that little plant gave me an instant feeling that it would never be the same again.

In its quiet moments of growth, the little cactus kept saying, “but I’m going to keep on trying.”

One bright sunshiny morning, I had gone outside to retrieve my daily newspaper, and oddly, it had fallen against the little cactus pot. At a glance, I could see three
or four little shiny nodules pushing through the soil, and seemingly saying, “I told you I could make it.”

In a few short weeks, the pot was once again full of harmless, little green spiny cactus nodules.

A lesson of life was suddenly revealed to me. “Even though things may seem hopeless at times, if we have faith in God, we can overcome, for with Him, nothing is impossible. Four lessons were learned:

• Don’t always take for granted the things that you see for the first time, because often outward appearances are used to protect, and camouflage from danger.

• The inward look is important, for there may be an entirely different personality
to view, as you become more familiar with surroundings.

• Nothing is obtained without effort.

• Don’t give up too easily. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!”

Each day brings a new dawning, the meaning of new beginnings in the little cactus that continues to live on.

Black History month articles
Written by Susie Sansom-Piper and
published in the Rockdale Reporter