Purple Splendor

“Repeat after me,” the jolly trolley bus driver said over his microphone, “Ja-ca-ran-da.”

“Jacaranda!” we echoed in unison, gasping with collective awe.

He would repeat these words over and over again as we passed through roads and roads lined with purple splendor. It was jaw-dropping!
I suddenly remembered my late mom who loved purple more than any other color. I wondered whether she passed this way when she visited California moons ago—maybe not, she was here in autumn. Otherwise, she’d have gushed over it non-stop. 

Jacaranda is probably the most exotic tree in California and one of the most beautiful, next to fire trees, that I have seen in my lifetime.

Californians, however, have a love-hate relationship with this purple splendor, the flowers of which are sticky.

“They are impossible to clean or wash off, especially if they get on one’s car.” Some also complain that Jacarandas near homes litter patios and choke spa filters.

But to a visitor like me, I felt nothing but pure delight and happy remembrances of mom.

It made our trolley bus tour of San Diego not only refreshing but idyllic. Eden must have had rows and rows of these trees, too!  

The images of Jacaranda, still on my mind one month later (am home now), makes me sing this old, joyful hymn (words by Charles Wesley, 1739):

Oh for a thousand tongues to sing   
My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King 
The triumphs of His grace. 

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