Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Cherry Blossoms

It it spring and cherry blossom season. My intent each year is to visit the Mall in Washington DC and view the cherry blossoms, and some years I do get there, but these past two weeks, when driving around Baltimore, I am noticing lots of cherry trees resplendent with blossoms and even more magnificent magnolia blossoms. It is not necessary to travel to DC to see cherry blossoms, they are right here all around me in Baltimore. It is only for a short time, and the wind has been blowing today so perhaps they will not last long, but I am appreciating them. I wonder what spring brings to Quito. Since the weather changes little all year long, how does spring differ from the other seasons? I imagine that flowers grow all year, so is there a sudden growth spurt when daffodils and tulips and crocuses suddenly spring out of the earth? Is there a cherry blossom time? Is it during midwinter or fall? Do certain plants grow at certain times or does the growing season just rotate all year long? How does one know it is spring in the highlands, or in the jungle?

I told a patient today about my move to Ecuador, and he surprised me by knowing exactly where the country is (many people don't know it is in South America), and the wonderful springlike weather all year long. He had learned about Ecuador in high school, which for him was a good 25 years ago. He had also watched alot of Discovery Channel and knew about the Galapagos and then launched into assertions that 'evolution is only a theory' and has never been proven... I have learned not to get into such arguments; not so much as to avoid offending my patients, but it does not seem to be my role to defend the theory of evolution, certainly not as a psychiatrist. I am reviewing my departure with each patient as I plan the transition time between now and when I leave and refer each of them to whom I believe will be a good fit. I am surprised by the encouragement and excitement that is communicated by almost every patient. It would be more difficult if I encountered resistance at every turn. Instead, I feel more and more enthusiastic.

I like when seasons change, especially fall and spring. With Quito weather being spring all year long? I wonder if I will miss the seasons, or will flowers be bursting all over the place in every season? Will I miss the cherry blossoms and the magnolia trees? Eric assures me that there are flowers blooming all year long, many varieties and mostly plants and flowers I have never seen or heard of. At the market in Otavalo, we bought 25 long stemmed roses for $3; I expect I will go wild with the flowers and make sure my house is full of them inside and out!

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