Reconsidering the Jacaranda tree

Small disclaimer:
If you and I have had a discussion regarding Jacarandas, in the past few months, please don't assume this post is directed at you, individually.  This post was encouraged by years and years of sensing a general dislike for the jacaranda from many, many people. Don't fret!

I don't think I can recall someone (besides my mother) ever having a kind word to say about the Jacaranda tree. We have a large Jacaranda tree on one side of the street.  When we moved in, we gutted the entire front and backyard, left the huge purple tree and then planted two more.  You should hear the caution we received from people. Who knew people had such vitriolic hate for a tree?  Of course people will compliment it's remarkable hue, when in bloom, but only after groaning about the sticky leaves and sappy leftovers, for a few minutes.  Sometimes I wonder if people complain about it and after doing so, they realize what they sounded like so they return to it's beauty as somewhat of an aside that erases the preceding comments.
Or maybe people genuinely don't care.
Or maybe they really just hate the Jacaranda (which really is ok!)

But I have a new thought.

The Jacaranda tree makes a pretty accurate analogy for the journey of life.
Think on the tree.
When it is in full bloom, it is so beautiful!  I drive down the streets of Long Beach, twice a year and I'm overwhelmed with the almost-neon purple buds.  It's simply breathtaking.  When driving down a street that is lined with the Jacaranda, you can't help but look up and notice.  Even the ground, where the buds fall, makes a bright and exciting landscape.  

And yet, everyone is always complaining about the inconvenience that it causes.
Most people HATE the Jacaranda.
They completely dismiss it (and I believe would be totally ok, if the tree never existed, or only resided in a park where they could enjoy it from afar).

And why?

Because it takes a few minutes to clean up.
Because it's messy.
Because it can be inconvenient.

We miss the beauty because we are wholly focused on the negative parts of the situation.

We want so badly to become pregnant but then we complain, complain because of morning sickness and sleepless nights and then we buy a house and complain, complain because we have to do the work to prepare it for move in.  Our kids don't sleep and need us to hold them and we complain complain because we aren't getting sleep and we need money to pay a bill and get upset we can't spend the money we surprisingly obtained, on something more exciting.  We have lovely friends but complain complain that they aren't meeting our needs and we have been gifted time on earth but we are bound with complaints about how much easier life is for someone else.  We freely worship but complain about the church and we have so many things and are so bundled in the negative.

We totally miss the blessing because we are spending that time focused on what we don't like.

I venture a guess that if you ever meet a person who loves a Jacaranda tree, they are moving just simply and peacefully enough to enjoy the beautiful things and to be patient with the little messes along the way.

After all, if there was no mess, the beautiful wouldn't look as bright.


  1. love this rachel - so true! something i'm working on - to look up and pay attention to the everyday beauty surrounding us :)

  2. Have you been looking at my instagram stream? :) I've been driving around looking for the purple trees and posting everytime I find one! LOL.

  3. that's my husbands favorite tree. i love that nature continually teaches and points to our creator. thank you fo sharing.