Saturday, May 21, 2011
Here in Southern California, it's jacaranda, or apparently more accurately jacaranda mimosifolia, time. All up and down the residential streets has gently settled a veil of soft, deep purple. If you park your car, you're likely to come out and find it covered in a thin shroud of purple. It laughs purple, weeps purple, wakes and sleeps purple.
Back in the early '90s, I worked for three years at a law office on the corner of Wilshire and Doheny in Beverly Hills. My principal emotion during those years was despair, with mingled dread-loneliness-revulsion running a close second. One spring day I was in my boss's sixth floor office and as he nattered on about the motion for relief from default I was to write one more time because, one more time, he'd ignored a deadline, I glanced out his windows and saw that all the streets north of Wilshire were blanketed in purple. It was jacaranda time! There was light, there was poetry, beyond the prison walls there was life! It was perhaps the one truly happy moment of my career as an attorney.
And looking back, I can't help thinking that it was also perhaps the first moment when I knew I had to leave.