CHAPTER THREE – San Diego’s Palm (San Diego, California)
San Diego’s Palm
‘Can you believe it guys? Soon we will be in the States.’ said Easy Joe.
‘We will be in States! Did you hear that Jali?’ Jerry was overly excited. Jali opened her eyes and smiled. ‘I’ve never been this far away before, it’s so beautiful. All these metal bucket boxes are so colourful. Vanessa eventually found herself behind a line of cars.
‘Awe man, I got to put you guys somewhere else.’ Easy Joe picked up Jerry and Jali and placed them behind one of the bags he had in the van. ‘Now look, there’s nothing wrong with you, you’re awesome just the way you are but our border patrol officers don’t understand… they have no chill. So, for now, you got to hide.’
‘What’s happening, Jerry?’ asked Jali.
‘I don’t know but I think maybe it is some kind of game. A hiding game.’
‘You and I need to hide, so no one can spot us for a while.’
‘Sounds like fun!’ Jali cheered.
Soon they made it to the front of the border patrol line.
An officer approached Easy Joe and Vanessa and asked what the reason for the visit to Mexico?’
Easy Joe smiled at the officer.
‘Oh, I come to Mexico all the time for research and to further my independent studies, I know I don’t look like it but I’m just an old biology teacher.
The border patrol agent smiled back, ‘Ok sir, well, I’m going to need to look inside your van and if you don’t have anything illegal, you’ll be free to go through. I would like to remind you that smuggling anything across the border is illegal and you will face charges.’
‘Of course!’ said Easy Joe,
‘Like I said, I come through here all the time.’
The officer came to the side and opened the van. Immediately she spotted one of the crumbled-up bags in the back of the van. Jerry and Jali’s hiding spot. She grabbed the bag and swiftly moved it aside and… there was nothing behind it. She opened the bag to inspect it further, but it was empty. The officer searched Vanessa inside and out but the only thing she found were a couple of empty pots, and that certainly was not illegal.
The officer walked over to Easy Joe.
‘So, yeah…looks like you are free to go through’ responded the officer. She wasn’t too happy about not finding anything.
‘Anyway, here is your passport and welcome back to the United States of America.’
‘God bless you’ said Easy Joe as he hopped back into Vanessa. The officer wasn’t sure if he was being sarcastic or not.
Easy Joe drove for a bit and then pulled over on the side of the road.
‘Hey where are you little guys?’ he asked while looking for Jerry and Jali.
‘Is the game over?’ Jali asked.
‘It seems so’ laughed Jerry and stuck a leaf out from under the driver’s seat.
After crawling around on Vanessa’s floor, Easy Joe spotted Jerry’s leaf and put both plants in their pots again.
‘You two are very sneaky. You played a great game of hide and seek and guess what, our next stop is San Diego. Man you guys are going to love San Diego. It’s right by the ocean.’
‘The Ocean?’ confused, Jerry looked at Jali, but she was only able to shrug as she didn’t know either.
Easy Joe looked down at the plants.
‘Oh that’s right, I bet neither of you have ever seen an ocean… it’s like a huge puddle of water. Bigger than a lake or river. Very big water! It’s beautiful and we will be close enough to taste that salty air.
‘Salty air? Now that did sound strange thought Jali.
‘A giant puddle called The Ocean.’ What a curious thing thought Jerry. He wondered how many new plants he would see growing by it.
Jerry wondered if his new house in Call-O-Rod-O had The Ocean nearby.
Easy Joe eventually pulled off the road by one of the houses near the coast.
‘Here we are! This place has the best view of the ocean from behind the house.’ ‘You guys are going to dig it’
He took their pots and put them on a terrace behind the house. Jerry and Jali were… speechless. Everything Easy Joe had said about The Ocean was true. It was more water than they had ever seen before. And the plants around were all so stylish.
‘This is great’ laughed Jerry. ‘We should have a race. Whoever gets to The Ocean first wins.’
Jerry couldn’t wait to soak his leaves in all that cool water.’
Jali agreed and once it was nice and quiet Jerry and Jali left their pots and raced to the beach.
Jali made it just before Jerry.
I won, I won!’ she laughed as she splashed water everywhere.
Jerry hopped right in and splashed alongside of her. They both went to take a drink when they tasted the saltwater and spit it out.
‘This is terrible, it is not good to drink at all… I feel sick” said Jali.
‘Me too’ said Jerry looking a little more green than usual. This big water was beautiful but it was NOT for drinking.” Jerry and Jali hopped out of the cool water and walked along the coast.
Soon they came upon a very curved palm tree.
‘Hey up there!’ said Jerry smiling and waving. Jali pipped up next.
‘’We are from Mexico, she said and we are…’
‘Great story bro, welcome to San Diego and go away.’ The palm tree looked away.
Jerry didn’t understand why he was being so rude.
‘Well you, You are not a very friendly plant!’ said Jerry.
‘Oh really’ said the palm, a little tiny marijuana plant like you is not going to lecture me about how to behave! Palm Tree curved a bit more and groaned.
‘He is not a marijuana! He is hemp!’ corrected Jali.
‘And what do we have here?’ He squinted his eyes and looked down at Jali.
‘A sassy little agave humm? How amusing…. I was sassy once.’
‘You don’t seem like you’ve ever been anything but rude.’ said Jerry.
‘Well when I was just a little nut, I lived in The Ocean. I had so much sass, after all, not every nut or seed can survive such salty conditions. You should have seen me catchin waves back then. I was the best. I finally ended up here in San Diego and even though I became much too heavy to sail through the water, I loved watching those surfers man…. I had lots of friends…. Every day they’d come ride the waves all day….until one day they got busted… by the cops…. Because of a little marijuana plant like you’
Jali yelled up at the palm tree.
‘He’s a Money Tree! He is a hemp and he heals, he builds relationships, and he helps.
The palm tree looked down at Jerry and then back again at Jali.
‘I’m sorry…’ said the palm ‘I guess I shouldn’t have judged you by your appearance. I’ve been by myself for a long time and I seem to have forgotten my manners, my name is Rafi.’
Jerry and Jali watched as Rafi stretched and groaned.
‘Are you ok Rafi? You really don’t look too comfortable.’
“I’m not, see I got myself bent in this position and it worked for a while but now, well now I’m just hurting.” Jali and Jerry looked at each other.
‘Maybe I can help’ said Jerry. He took out some of his seeds and leaves and offered a sesh to Rafi.
‘Well said Rafi, I suppose the cops can’t very well take me away…. He closed his eyes and breathed in deeply.’ After he exhaled, he spoke to Jerry.
‘I’m sorry. It appears as if I was wrong about you little money tree. You are a good guy, I’m relaxed and feel so much better. I may even be able to get myself out of this crazy position. I’m sorry for mistaking you for marijuana.’
‘That’s ok Rafi, my mother sent me into this world and told me that we as a cannabis family must help others, not harm them.’
For the next few days, Jerry and Jali visited Rafi, and listened to his stories about humans and the world. At their last meeting, he stopped them and said.
‘I’m thankful to have met both of you. You’re a fierce plant Jali and you, Jerry… You deserve respect. You allowed me to experience new things and taught me not to judge by appearance.’
‘I have a gift for you.’ Rafi began to shift and shimmy and sway until he was quite straight, in doing so he shed much of his bark.
‘My palm bark is one of the best mulches in the world. You can take some with you and put it in your pot. It will keep you both very cosy. After all, it does get quite cold in Colorado, or at least from what I have heard.’
‘We have something for you too!’ said Jerry and he gave a few seeds and flowers to Rafi. Please ‘Take these and grow them. You can have your own little money trees to keep you company and show the world to. Nourish them with love, and they will reward you in the best way possible!’
‘Thank you, Jerry, I will treasure them.’
When Jerry and Jali returned to their pots with a new mulch, Easy Joe noticed and smiled.
‘I see you guys had your adventures here, too.’ He loaded the two plants into Vanessa, and they continued their journey once again.