The Bluest Ceanothus

Entering the Corwin Street Community Garden, I’m struck by the unreal blue of the ceanothus, or California lilac, in full bloom.

Toni Morrison’s first novel, The Bluest Eye, portrays the African American protagonist Pecola’s wish to be white with blue eyes, after a lifetime of struggle with racism, abuse, and poverty. Don’t we all wish for something we can’t have? something that seems great, but isn’t the best for us? Growing up with a divorced mother who, because of sporadic work, always struggled to pay the bills, I often yearned for material wealth, as if that would take away her illness, or ensure that we’d never again be hungry or in need. But what riches there are in nature, even in the heart of the city! Such power they have, to deeply soothe a troubled heart.

Thinking of the Verve song, Blue,” as I tumble down the slide at the bottom of the garden, I laugh at where the stream of consciousness takes us. B. doesn’t care for the band or the song, says he doesn’t look for beauty in music but rather challenge: to be taken somewhere else, somewhere completely unexpected.

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About thislittleplot

Writer, hiker, loafer
This entry was posted in Garden, Literature, Music, Nature, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to The Bluest Ceanothus

  1. The species of Ceanothus that we have in central Texas have white flowers.

    Steve Schwartzman
    http://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com

  2. quietpaddle says:

    ah but then Texas does have the fabulous mountain lilac bloom

  3. owlwoman says:

    There was a huge Ceanothus bush at Clapton Pond (a particularly grim part of London). I’d walk past it to the bus stop when it was in bloom and it would brighten up the whole area. It was my favourite city plant.

  4. tara linda says:

    aaah…now I know what’s blooming around the neighborhood! thank you
    True sanctuaries for the soul- Nature & Musica! poetry too ;)

  5. Shonna says:

    I love Ceanothus, I saw one the other day at Ploughshares Nursery in Alameda, CA. Someone really knows what they are doing with the one they have there. It has been so well pruned year after year that it was in the form of a 25′ tree! I’ve only ever seen them as wild shrubs before.

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