Hydrangeas and Horned Toads: On Connection and Belonging

A dear young friend brought me beautiful hydrangea blossoms today.  I looked at them, and my heart melted.   “Horned Toads”, I thought!

What do hydrangeas and Horned Toads have to do with each other?

LOVE and Connection!

When I was a young child we would visit my grandparents in west Texas.  They lived in a tiny town of only about 1500 people.  It was dry, very dry and hot.

I felt lost in this quiet place of serious adults, me with big ideas and excitable and loud energy.  I took refuge alone on the big porch and front steps of the small house.

I can remember a palpable feeling of connection and AHHHHH, looking at the big hydrangea bushes on either side of the stairs. The branches heavily laden with blossoms.  Eccentric and expressive.  Like me.

I wanted to be IN them and a part of them.

Underneath the bushes were the most magnificent creatures I have ever seen. Horned Toads!

I was enthralled.  I can still feel their soft, yet spiny little bodies puffing up in my hands, as I greeted them and told them that we would be friends forever and I would protect them.

They would sit in my warm hands, looking at me majestically, tilting their heads side to side to see all of me.

Mother earth, and the living going on all around, in every corner, all the time was there to hold my bigness.

Hydrangea’s mean Horned Toads. They mean belonging.

What is one of your childhood stories of belonging and connection?

Horned Toad Drawings by Fiona, 7 yrs and Calvin, 5 yrs
About Texas Horned Lizards


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