Watercolor Sketch—Jacaranda Seed Pods

Apr 21, 2020

Today's watercolor sketch prompt is, "keepsake." "It's a sketch! Say it out loud and stop beating yourself up about it!" This is my internal monologue. These plain brown disks bring back bright and beautiful memories—they are Jacaranda seed pods. I grew up with Jacaranda trees lining the street I lived on in southern California. In the late spring the trees bloomed with the most gorgeous purple flowers. Eventually the flowers dropped and became a sticky mat that ruined roller skating until they dried up. The seed pods were a tripping hazard for my skating crazed self and friends—it's really a wonder I recall them fondly at all! But as an adult I look back at the beauty of that time.

In 1983, when I was 14, we moved to North Carolina where I never saw another Jacaranda and the neighborhoods didn't have sidewalks to skate on. Eventually Brad and I found each other and moved to Colorado. In 2008 we traveled to Addis Ababa, the capitol of Ethiopia, to adopt our beautiful baby son. We stayed at the Hilton which was, at the time, hosting some of the attendees of the African Union. The hotel was guarded by men with machine guns, leaving us feeling safe and uneasy in turns.

Luckily there was a large, beautiful garden in the back that was blooming with Jacaranda trees and Bougainvillea—it felt like a sign to me. I snuggled my infant son close, Brad's arm around us as we strolled the gardens. So much beauty. I was excited to find some seed pods to bring home with me. They now live in a little bowl in my home—a daily reminder of my childhood, that garden in Ethiopia, and the joy of creating our family.

Love to all from the Mother Ranch,


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