Thursday, July 4, 2013
Two months after N's death, I set out in search of blooming jacaranda trees. I had already missed much of the spring wildflower bloom in the mountains while mourning at home; I didn't want to miss the few glorious weeks of jacaranda season. My husband and I had recently been overwhelmed with color and scent at a rose garden; we could only take in a little at a time with our wounds still fresh. Making a pilgrimage to a spot full of jacarandas was another attempt to be with beauty.
A therapist had suggested that I find calming colors to call to mind when flooded with traumatic images of N's death. I immediately thought of the deep lavender of the jacaranda, like a technicolor hue from another planet. Lavender was the color of gifts I exchanged for years with a best friend; it always made me feel loved. In a deeper, more radiant shade, it was the light I sometimes sensed behind my eyes after an especially profound yoga or meditation session. To mark the 2-month anniversary, I wanted to surround myself with that healing color.
I took a walk among the jacarandas, going up to each one to sit under it and receive its rain of blossoms. On the grass, puddles of perfect purple petals. In the pond, a smudge of purple rippling the surface, pure color without shape. I cried as I wandered from tree to tree, for myself, for my son, for what might have been and all the wonders my son will never see. Yet also in that enchanted place, I felt briefly blessed.
Yesterday, to my amazement, a friend gave me a painting she did of a magnificant jacaranda. Now I can gaze at it from my bed every morning before I get up, reminded of the possibility of gratitude.