To the California roses

Many many years ago, I was working happily in another city of another country.

Then my husband had an alumni reunion gathering, and one thing led to another, suddenly the organizer found out the most of their classmates were living in the Silicon Valley so the reunion location was naturally settled there.

We flew over, had a good time, and that was before Silicon Valley became a world wide house name but the fame was picking up the heat.

The first day when I returned to the office, all my colleagues came to my cubicle curious about my impressions of this foreign mythical land. Back then, the only thing we knew about Silicon Valley was the string “Palo Alto, California” as the last line showing on our workstation’s rebooting unix console everyday when we came to the office.

That “Palo Alto, California” acted like a sign of “ready! go!” for our daily morning rituals.

They wanted me to report back some insightful observations of those genius engineers and inventors behind these big names like Intel, Oracle, HP.

“Oh, the roses there are soooooo beautiful! They are everywhere! And each flower can grow even bigger than a rice bowl!”

The first thing out of my mouth was something totally out of the context of what my colleagues wanted to know.

Everyone bursted into a hearty laughter immediately.

Fast forwarded a few years later, not only we moved to the Bay area, quite some co-workers followed our foot steps and migrated to Silicon Valley as well. In a reunion lunch I attended, one ex co-worker who just recently relocated to the new world half jokingly revealed a secret to me.

“You know what, one small reason I decided to move here was the California roses. I was so touched by the way you described them that time when you came back office from the reunion party. I wanted to check out these roses here.”

He spent his entire college years in UK till he finished his PhD. He knew something about roses.

That was one of those many tiny moments in life that you did not realize it clicked in a way that lasted a long sweet memory when you look back many years later, standing at the center of the seas of voluptuously blossoming Julia Child yellow roses in the San Jose Rose Garden, you suddenly wanted to ask that co-worker of yours came from another country, about his latest feeling of these California roses.

But the human contact was long gone and lost for many years.

I am pretty sure, if he came to this garden, he would not be disappointed and would have enjoyed it as much as I did.



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