Late May and early June brought our Jacaranda trees into bloom. This year's bounty appeared fuller and more prolific than I can remember. Throughout the city our tree-lined streets were clad in fluffy clouds of lavender. They lingered for weeks, with blossoms sprinkling sidewalks, lawns and windshields like purple confetti announcing summer's approach.
Last week, I bought a gift for a friend at one of my favorite shops: Lewis and Clark in La Arcada Plaza. La Arcada is a courtyard with Old World Spanish architecture. It flanks our art museum, and is home to restaurants, galleries, fountains and boutiques (the window washer in the foreground wearing all white, is a fixture of La Arcada. A statue sculpted entirely of bronze.)
On my way back to the parking lot, I glanced toward our courthouse -- the heart of our downtown -- the way I always do whenever I'm in its presence. I took in its tile roof, its graceful arch, its tall clock tower that looks out to a 360 degree view of the city, and felt a certain awe, even after all these years. The interior and the exterior of Santa Barbara's courthouse are equal to some of the loveliest buildings in Italy or Spain. And as I stopped to snap a couple of photos, the clock began to chime. It resounded through all twelve numbers of the hour like a validation, a booming voice bellowing, "You're here, Anitra, you're here, at this median hour, in perfect timing. I salute you with both hands straight up. Have a beautiful day."
Welcome, welcome lovely readers; it's good to be back. I look forward to returning two months from now, on the 15th of September. Until then, cool breezes and happy days to you.