Monday, October 16, 2006

Dado & The Jacarandas

In June in Los Angeles, they are everywhere. The bright violet blooms of the Jacaranda trees. They smell fragrantly, and when they cover walkways like rose petals on a wedding aisle, they provide a slippery surface for the bottom of your shoes. But they’re gorgeous.

Dado and I played a game “count the jacaranda trees.” How many could I count on the way to Hughes market? Six? Eight? When I’d spot one from a distance down the street I would get excited and feel proud, and have to remember as I approached the tree and its vibrant blooms, that I already counted that one from far away.

I miss her. Every time I see a jacaranda tree I think of her, and right now, in June in L.A., they are blooming all over the city. It’s never like I actually forget her because I think of her all the time, but when the trees are blooming, I can't escape thoughts of her and I feel her presence even more intimately when I see those trees. In Burbank as I leave the Warner Bros Ranch where my office is, I see the trees and I see her. They frame the road next to Starbuck’s and remind all the network and studio employees to take time out to enjoy the changing of the season.

At Kiko’s apartment, I feel her. There’s a huge jacaranda tree on the property of his apartment building that scatters the otherwise drab driveway with glorious purple petals. Most of the tenants just drive over the beautiful blooms, smashing them deeper into the ground so they spread out like flowers in a press, without even realizing how gorgeous they make the black asphalt. Thank you, oblivious drivers for leaving small signs of Dado on the driveway for me to feel close to her.

I want to gather all of the fallen purple petals I see, put them in a zip lock bag and preserve them in the freezer. I want to make a quilt of these jacaranda buds made of a color so vibrant it would feel like spring all year round, and cover me in her warmth. I’d scatter them across a white table cloth for pops of color, or use them to spruce up bath water if they smelled fragrant or seemed clean.

Some people can’t stand the mess they make on the sidewalk and sweep up the gorgeous lilac blooms the minute they drop from the tree. Others go about their daily routines, practically not paying any attention to nature’s wondrous rouge coloring the skyline and the sidewalks. But I notice. And Dado notices. She always noticed, which means I will never forget to notice and remember…