Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia) – the most majestic and divine tree (and a very messy one, too, when it comes to cleaning up the purple, sticky mess on patios, streets, driveways and cars) – grows here, in Santa Barbara and Goleta, in abundance.
Jacarandas usually bloom in late May/early June but just couple days ago I spotted the first jacaranda tree that had started to “turn purple” already, messing up the “official time line”.
So, very soon we will be able to drive down the stretch on Cathedral Oaks Rd., between Kellogg and Patterson, and, most certainly, enjoy the magic of those unbelievable trees, and certain streets around our town will be carpeted with the fallen blossoms.
Usually they are making me want to stop my car and just stand underneath them… to allow the falling flowers to touch my face (but on the other hand I never have had to clean up the mess which, as I was told, is unforgettable, too!)
“Bottle that feeling up”, used to be my advice to my own three boys, when we drove under those marvels. “Bottle up” that almost fluorescent purple, and that feeling of being protected and calm, and content. It wraps you in love and peace – it feels like those rows of towering beauties protect you! Bottle it up. And be thankful. And then, when you need it, take the lid of that bottle off, if even for a second, and breathe… Inhale is one, exhale is two. Breathe in that purple color that seems more like light (not just “the color”). Let it truly permeate you, and allow you to stand taller, calmer and face the world without succumbing to “the dark side”, without blaming and judging others and yourself. Breathe in the peace and awareness, and know, that we all share this world, this planet – through happiness and also through pain, through worries and through blessings, through injuries, losses and victories, and also through that purple color.
“Bottle it up, boys, you might need it later”, I have said to my sons more times than I can remember. I hope they recall that advice not just when looking at blooming jacarandas but also when coming across other beautiful things and events. And people. I hope I remember it, too.
This year the jacarandas are not quite on schedule – they have started blooming already, thus giving us more chance to “bottle them up”. For later.
Breathe in the peace, beauty and awareness, and know: “We are all one.”
Breathe out gratitude.
Contributed by Indra Strong