Walking to work, I was startled by being smiled at from the branches of a tree. It was two mylar balloons – one of them bright gold with a smiley face. The other balloon had little smileys all over it plus the words FEEL BETTER SOON.
OK, it’s not too surprising, that close to Medical Center, to see a couple of get-well balloons on the loose. On the other hand, it was very apt because Houston has had severe drought for a year. Even on a prosperous residential street like Greenbriar many trees (especially magnolias) look wilted. Over in Memorial Park there are so many dead trees it looks like Agent Orange fell out of the sky. The land itself has dried out to the breaking point. Greenbriar has buckles and potholes that could wallop a small car. And on nearby Braes Bayou the asphalt hike and bike trail developed terrible cracks over the past year. Cracks big enough to break a jogger’s ankle or take out a bicycle. So the city put up warning signs and outlined the cracks in white, after which they looked like a crime scene where dead bodies had lain. Maybe the dead bodies of a year’s worth of hopes for rain. FEEL BETTER SOON is a great wish for the trees and the rest of the natural fabric of our city.