Three mornings a week I wake at 7, enjoy the gradually lightening sky, the ride my beach cruiser 5 miles to JFK university for class. Wednesday morning, on my journey to Community Mental Health with Dr. Wong, I breathed in the fresh air off the mountains as the curious mixture of fall and spring intoxicated my imagination.
It's the end of October, nearly Halloween, and the grass is still lush and green. Morning glories in near-neon purple display themselves the whole day long here. The bougainvillea, Hibiscus, and Oleander of summer are still lush and showy in the cool mornings of fall. The multitudes of roses, in nearly every yard, are blooming in full pride, what may be their last round of prideful showings this season.
The deciduous trees are changing their colors, blushing red, orange, and yellow-- the green showing underneath like petticoats of ruffly tulle. Eucalyptus spreads the heady smell of menthol and pine-needles across the breeze, and it reminds me of long walks in the frosted pine forest of my family farm.
Then, beyond this all, the Jasmine of spring has flowered again. White petals of sensuous evenings an aphrodisiac in the wind. The calla lillies have burst into bloom along-side birds of paradise, Cannas, true Lillies, and camelias on trees and shrubs. This cacophony of spring and fall coming together strikes me as symbolic of my new life in this beautiful place.
Coming here, I looked for a new begining, a path to shed the me of past and don a new wardrobe of the hopes and aspirations I'd once thought to be unattainable. As I ride along now-familiar streets to the halls of my new professional life, I see that with the newness of spring I also carry the cycles of fall in my bag.
The goal must be, like the fusion of seasons here, to enjoy, accept, and embrace the past, present, and future of who I am and who I will become. As much as I love the newness and innocence of spring's abundance and fury, I also need the comfortable cloak of fall's changing leaves. And as much as I thrive in the temperate climate of this place, I now crave the sight of snow on the mountains surrounding our valley.
And perhaps this mish-mash of seasons best shows why this place is so perfect for me to build my life and become my best self... For the weather here understands me, it, too, must combine and experiment with combinations that might not work anywhere else in the world... it, too, has no care for the rules and procedures in books and tradition... but, it, too, still carries with it a love of order and tradition (though it may not seem so to some) that influence the combinations and tangents of its wild and free spirit. For, here, the climate nurtures the wild hybrid Passiflora right next to the most pedigreed English rose, it shelters the ancient cypress and olive, in the same yard as a grape vine invented last year. It allows for all manner of eclectic gardening, beauty, life and death... it sends pollen indiscriminately from bastard bush to royal bloom. Here, thee environment is scientist, artist, mage, and magician. Here. I see my own reflection (past, present, and future) on every early morning ride.