We don’t have regular seasons here in southern California. In Los Angeles, the norm is year-round sunshine. Other states know that certain months, like January or November, are traditionally cold months, and will require cozy sweaters and layering in order to remain comfortable. Yet, in Los Angeles you never know. In fact, last Thanksgiving, my family wore short-sleeves. And anyone who watches the Rose Parade knows that January 1st is typically nice and sunny here.
Because it is perpetually sunny and warm(-ish), it can be hard to remember what season it is. But there are markers around that help.
For me, it’s the blooming of the jacaranda trees. When I see those purple blooms, I know it’s spring.
I think I appreciate those purple trees more now than I did a few years ago. You see, for a while, jacaranda trees were just a giant nuisance. Those pretty purple flowers fall off the trees and leave a sticky residue on the sidewalk. And when my son was stroller-bound, those purple flowers would stick to the stroller wheels and would then make their way into my home. Which meant my floors required a daily clean-up.
Additionally, jacaranda trees also serve as a giant “in-your-face” to one of my elementary school teachers. Now, my readers know that I was an elementary school teacher and hold teachers in high esteem and believe they should be treated with the upmost respect. But there are always a few that don’t do the profession justice (which I believe is true for people in any profession). This teacher had a very strict view on art. In her mind, trees were brown on the bottom and green on top. And these jacaranda trees just serve as a visual reminder that it isn’t always so. (In fact, years ago I wrote an essay that was published in the Christian Science Monitor about teachers and children’s art. Here’s the link if you’re interested: http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0928/p14s01-legn.html)
In any event, they’re blooming. Happy Spring!