Nothing comes free, does it? It's early May, and the jacarandas are in bloom in the really old neighborhoods of southern California's cities like San Diego and Los Angeles. These imported trees have an intense purple color that almost glows in the dark and provides a needed dash of beauty in the tired old city streets. One of my most vivid mental pictures is driving down LA's lower Broadway early on a spring evening a few years ago, south of downtown, where the dull industrial buildings and red brick seemed as though they were illuminated by the glow of the jacarandas.
Despite their beauty, the trees aren't planted in new developments. They are very messy, dropping petals and sticky goo all over the street. You need a maintenance team to fight back. In earlier days, people thought it was worth it, but not any more.
It's rather sad, I think. We're such a hurry-up society, unwilling to make the investment or pay the cost. We want it all just so, colored within the arbitrary lines that we set. And whether its children or colleagues or congregations, we are unwilling to make space for the messy yet wonderful variation that oozes outside the lines and gives our lives color and variety. But I am an advocate for breaking outside the lines. I'm going to celebrate the jacarandas.
Picture from here