Dateline, NYC, but I am thinking this morning about California. Met a woman on my flight – polo shirt, pearls, Connecticut, of course – who literally had never heard of Santa Barbara and who was none too impressed with the first-ever weekend she had just spent in Los Angeles. I suspect she will not return.
I understood. One of my early memories of California back in the 1970’s was of caustically bright purple ice plant blooming in February. February. It was weed-like, creeping in vast volunteer patches across roadway berms, so corrosively saturated in color as to be ridiculous. C’mon, California, tone it down a notch, I thought.
Fortunately, California didn’t attend to my directive. Fast-forwarding several decades, she is in the grip of a perilous drought, but still somehow managed to show off all this winter. The mornings have been brilliant, crystalline. Bunnies darting in and out of the brush, lizards setting up shop on rocks for all-day sunbathing. Just a few sprinklings of rain and everything turned lush green – well, at least temporarily. The ornamental pears have never bloomed more spectacularly than they did this year. The wisteria and the camellias and the plum trees have burst into bloom. What lies ahead after a non-starter El Niño, I’m not sure, but I can tell you that Chloe and I cherished our walks this winter.
Don’t change a thing, California. Let’s just pray for rain!