1.25.2009

Palm Reading



Blame it on the blustery East Coast winters of my childhood, but the image of a palm tree has always been a sign of the good life. Corona commercials and movies about L.A. even use palm trees to express when someone’s finally “arrived.” In Los Angeles, even the most formidable South Central ghettos are prettier than the mean streets of D.C. because of the foliage. Since I’m not a native Angeleno, I don’t take the tropical wonders for granted. Even if they aren’t native to California and were imported from Mexico. Even when palms shoot up between doughnut shops and jail bond shacks with empty bags of Hot Cheetohs scattered around the base.

Luckily, my backyard offers the dramatic view of a palm stark against the wide open sky. I like to lean back in my lawn chair and take it in with a nice cocktail. I sigh and pretend to believe this view is symbolic of the good life I am now living. Because of its immense height, the palm is the last thing to catch the sun as it sets in the west, and it glows bright yellow against a pink and purple sky. In the moonlight, the fronds shimmer in blue, free from the shadowy clutter on the ground. When there’s a breeze, it rustles like a faraway forest. It bends toward the sun. When windy, it performs yoga.

Once, when I thought my stress was going to break me, my friend Chrystina offered sage advice. “Think of a palm tree,” she said, “during the most violent storms, it doesn’t fight the wind and snap. It adapts and bends with it.” This is when I admit that while I live among the palms now, I still have yet to “arrive.” But much like the palm, I’ve learned to bend. Even if the trees don’t grant a life of decadence, it’s still the good life.

1 comment:

Sally Drew said...

I loved how I felt as I read this. For me, sitting in the quiet and listening to the wind blow makes me feel like I 'have it all'.

Fayeruz, on so many levels - you HAVE made it. The next time you're enjoying the Palm Tree at dusk or later ... watch for the rising star. It will be the shimmering one that is like no other. And it will be from me ... reflecting, you.