August 21, 2015

This morning I read an email from one of our neighbors. His car had been broken into last night. Only some change had been taken but it wasn’t the first time. He and several other neighbors have been victim of car thefts on our little street in the last couple of years, which is unsettling, as it’s only a matter of time before houses get broken into too, as has happened fairly close by in our neighborhood. I sent him a consolation email and made a mental note to remind myself to always lock my doors.

Later in the afternoon, I was heading out to pick up our son Theo from his karate class and I spotted a brightly decorated truck at the end of the street, parked below the Chandelier Tree. It’s a truck that we see on our street a lot because it belongs to Tomas, a delightful, eccentric guy who has his own gardening business. The truck is painted with lush foliage and flowers from a rain forest, and Tomas himself is equally as colorful, usually dressed in rainbow pants and a floppy sun hat. A tall, slim guy with a hippy vibe, Tomas is not your typical gardener. He works for himself and is really a garden-artist with a very creative, mellow and wholistic approach to gardens – and to life in general. I hired him to sort out our irrigation system recently, and he thoughtfully examined the whole garden and suggested a number of clever ways to reduce our water consumption and use what water we do use more carefully.

We chatted a fair bit while he was working here and several times since when he’s been on our street, and became Facebook buddies. Which is how I noticed that it was his birthday recently. I didn’t see him that day, but I had a coffee mug embellished with words of wisdom that I thought might appeal to his philosophical side, so attached a Belated Happy Birthday note to it and positioned it near the front door so I could run out with it if I saw his truck. A couple of weeks passed, but today when I spotted the truck I turned my car around, drove back home and picked up the mug. I drove back down to his truck, looked round for him but couldn’t see him anywhere, so I looked to see if he’d left a window open. His front window was wide open, so I placed the mug on the front seat and left it there, a sort of reverse car break-in gift.

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When I returned home later, I spotted my gardener friend. He was with Adam, the creator of the Chandelier Tree. He was at the top of a tall ladder, helping him to attach another chandelier to the branches of the magnificent sycamore.

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