Jacarandas on Camden Street
My favorite Spanish word is actually a verb, aprovechar, to seize the moment, or to make the most of something. I wonder if it has something to do with my “go-getter” personality, but probably not. Most of the time when an opportunity presents itself, I walk in the other direction, afraid of the consequences and suspicious of the reward.
When I lived in Los Angeles, there were jacaranda trees lining my street. Southern California natives, they are prettier than palm trees but less well known. Their fragile purple flowers bloom every spring but quickly get caught under car tires and washed into sewers.
I have always loved photography, but the only time I would get around to picking up my digital camera was when I had to. When LAist.com asked for a picture with my article. When there was a gathering. You get the idea. But every spring I told myself I would take a picture of these jacaranda trees and their pretty blossoms and the way they floated to the ground at dusk on Camden Avenue. And then they would be gone and another short spring would be over in Southern California and I would be back to staring at those same trees, now bare, and wondering why I forgot.
So my advice to my former self, once I get that time machine and I go back to Los Angeles in the spring of 2009, is to take pictures of the jacarandas. Aproveche. Take chances. Don’t forget. Leave them alone and they will blow away.