DECEMBER BRINGS orange-colored tangerines, and April produces rosy, yellow mangoes.
Purple jacaranda comes in April too. You cannot eat jacaranda. You cannot peel it like a tangerine, or stir it with onion, cilantro and oil for a nice salad, as you can with a sliced mango. What jacarandas do is paint the earth. Bougainvillea is a Picasso too, but let’s stick to jacaranda now.
When we moved into the Hacienda 11 years back, I planted a jacaranda in the yard. I wanted a purple lawn now and then, and I wanted to look overhead to see an amethyst sky because jacarandas grow tall and grand.
It wasted no time in dying, the defeatist little bugger.
Just as well because the ground in which I planted that little jacaranda is now solid concrete, a floor of the garden patio that hides behind a wall that had not even been considered when I planted the jacaranda.
But I still see amethyst skies and purple earth because jacarandas are all around. There’s a tall one about two blocks away that I see right now through the window over this computer screen. Another stands high behind the 500-year-old church steeple on the neighborhood plaza. I see that mornings as we do our power walk.
On the far side of that same plaza, behind the red tile roofs of the portal, rises a jacaranda resplendent in mauve. I saw that one and smiled just moments ago when I returned from downtown in the Honda.
It’s okay that there’s no jacaranda in my yard. I don’t have to deal with a sea of purple leaves that at some point must be dealt with. I already have enough work raking reams of defeated bougainvillea blooms.
I have the best vantage point in this purple world of April — all see, no work.
I wish I could say the same of bougainvillea.