It seems cruel to talk about Spring and plants and flowers at the end of January, but here we are.
In a week or so, we celebrate the 40th day after the birth of Christ, the day on which the Mother Mary took her child to the temple.
In tandem with this religious celebration, many gardeners, growers, plant suppliers, and others gather in a San Miguel park for a week and turn it into a veritable Garden of Eden. Hundreds of people flock to the park to buy flowers, cacti, bushes, fruit trees, herbs, ornamentals, vines, ground covers even giant earthen pats to contain them all. If it grows, it goes.
To the man whom I almost knocked over rounding the corner of Nemesio Diez and De Los Suspiros, thank you for reviving my interest in a novel that I put down many decades ago but never forgot its influence.
Early Tuesday evening, Moppit and I were walking on Nemesio Diez, past the public parking lot at the corner, heading for home at a brisk pace. Brisk for an old man and a dog with very short legs.
As we reached the corner of Suspiros, a man walking at about the same pace nearly collided with us. Or we nearly collided with him.
A good friend invited me to spend a Sunday in Balboa Park with a Buddhist monk named Thich Nhat Hanh. I knew very little of him but Sundays in September in San Diego can be glorious and there are few better places than the park for them.
I think it was promoted as a Day of Mindfulness, another subject about which I knew very little.
The day was pretty much a total immersion. We were blissfully adrift in a gentle sea of brown-robed Buddhist monks and nuns. There were dharma talks and long periods of meditation. Some were led by Thay in his soft, barely audible whisper of a voice. Some were led by his followers.
Went to Ben Gall’s first official San Miguel Salon on Sunday night at his home, Casa Sentosa de las Serpientes, in Colonia Lindavista. Ben has been building toward this day for many months.
Actually, for years when you consider that he designed and built his house so that he could hold intimate concerts in his courtyard. There is a raised patio that serves as a stage and seating for as many as 50 people in the courtyard and 20 more on the roof of his casita.
If first impressions are all that important, facing the entrance to the brand new Hacmans restaurant in the even-newer Hotel Amatte (Amatte Wellnest Community) – which has yet to open – is a daunting one: 71 gleaming white stairs leading seemingly up to the sky.
Yes, count them: seventy-one.
Of course, there is a glass-box elevator off to the side, but what’s the fun in that?