Image by Buenos Aires Photographer
I am not a winter person: I hate wearing 10 layers in the morning and then carrying them around all day (in Mexico City a freezing early morning that turns into a warm afternoon is pretty common) , I get depressed when apples, pears and tejocotes replace mangos, litchis, peaches and plums and the sun setting at 6 makes me want to be in bed by 6.30. When Lu was born in the coldest November in hundreds of years the list of why winter is yucky only got longer: dry throat caused by the heater being turned on all day long, tiny fingers and toes hidden by layers and layers of clothing, quick nervous baby baths…
So this year when I saw the first Jacaranda trees blooming I was thrilled. Jacaranda are beautiful flowering trees that fill that turn the city a magical blue lilac purple color every spring. Every street in México City seems to have a Jacaranda trees and there are neighborhoods and parks that have them by the dozens. In March the skyline seems to turn purple and in April the color seems to slowly descend to the ground as Jacaranda trees drop their flowers by the hundreds, carpeting roads, sidewalks and yards.
In my childhood Jacaranda trees meant making Jacaranda “soup” in my grandmother’s yard with my sister and cousins. Jacaranda flowers, as far as I know, are not edible but their do have white milky nectar that drips out of the flowers end when you squeeze it lightly between your fingers. So when the Jacaranda trees carpeted my grandmother yard we would gather the purple blossoms and using any small cup or jar we would “milk” the blossoms making doll food (this would have been the best “fairy food” but fairies where not fashionable in the 80´s)
Image by Good Acres Adventures in Flora and Fauna Photography
But Jacaranda trees also meant sweet mangoes for dessert, wearing sandals and shorts sleeves (you never wear shorts in the city, no matter how warm it gets), weekends under the sprinkler , spring break and free tostadas and popsicles at school on Children´s Day (April 30).
This year, with Lu being the most important par4t of our lives, the childhood “Jacaranda soup” past has taken a whole new meaning: a whole lot of today filled with long, lazy mornings of Lu wearing pretty dresses and happily kicking away while staring at the brightly colored flowers swaying in the breeze, while her mommy reads and kisses her toes. But also the dream of a tomorrow in which I will get to teach my baby girl the secret recipe for “Jacaranda soup”.