Last year on my trip to California, I finally got up the courage to drive by Blossom Place and to see the house that had been my parents' home. I parked the car on the opposite side of the street from the house, looking at the house and the trees just beyond it from a distance.
I could see the cypress and magnolia from where I was, but not the lemon tree. The lemon tree was never tall enough to show itself from the front of the house ; it was rather short, though it gave lemons year round. Even in blossoming season, it had lemons from the last year and blossoms ready for the present one!
The cypress looked fine, taller, grown up, and healthy, with a few branches on top a bit curved and turned down, a sign of its starting to get older.
The magnolia did not look good to me. Not green and happy, but gray and dusty, her leaves tired and dry .
I don't know if they saw me. Maybe the cypress tree did! But the magnolia looked too tired even to turn her head towards the street.
There were three important trees both in our house in Tehran and in our parents' house in California: the cypress, the magnolia, and the lemon tree .
After the revolution when my parents lost their home in Tehran and settled in California, I helped my father to plant the same three trees in their tiny little garden .
In 2012, a year after my mother passed away, I did not go to visit the house. I could not, I didn't have the courage.
But then last year it was as if the car turned itself from Imperial Highway onto Palm Street and then onto Blossom Place. And it stopped in front of number 1820 for me to revisit the house, trees, memories.
But this time I was looking at the house from beyond the wall, and from the other side of the street…not even from the side I had always parked on…as if I knew it was not ours anymore ….