I have an Olive tree in the front yard and it’s wild.
There are a couple other olive trees way up Hesse Drive, but they’re tame, trimmed like a Bob Ross afro and circled by brick planters. Domesticated.
I have the only wild olive tree on Hesse Drive.
The city of La Mirada has history with this species, the Greeks had a long name for it and La Mirada being a tree city, somebody needs to look up the long name.
Our 62-year-old city replaced a ton of olive groves according to resident historians Ray Fernandez and Tony Aiello, who say a bunch of olive oil was famously produced here.
The owner of this website got really pumped up, as historians are prone to get, when the original oil press from the La Mirada olive groves recently surfaced in Campo, CA. Where?
But enough dendrology, let’s talk about the symbolism of my wild olive tree and being a preacher; let me throw in some Bible.
In the Genesis story Noah, the guy who took 120 years to build a big boat to save his fam and all kinds of animals from a flood--and you thought the I-5 expansion was taking long-- sent a bird to see if there was dry land and the bird came back with a leaf from an olive tree.
Bible readers see that as a “peace sign” and Greek mythology thought the same thing.
Mt. Olympus was the site of the first olive tree, planted by Hercules, kicking off the first Olympic Games. The contest winners were awarded with olive branch wreaths, a sign of peace and “victory,” the goddess Nike right there to witness. The United Nations even has an olive branch on its Flag.
So, the Olive Tree on Hesse Drive and its olive leaves and branches equate to peace.
Why this is important to this hyper-active community member and conflicted La Mirada resident is that I don’t feel very peaceful in this current municipal political climate.
It’s election season.
La Mirada, CA with population under 49,000, has five city council members. One of them, up for re-election, is the youngest and second longest tenured member of our council and by vote of the other four members, he’s been passed over to become our city’s mayor over and over, which before him, was a simple cycle of transfer of the title of mayor, which happens annually, a formality if you will.
He’s been on council for nine years. Zip.
This is wild. Nationally, there’s ‘cancel culture” being squeezed out like oil from both political party groves.
Locally from La Mirada’s Council dais, there’s some of the same drip, and there is no peace. There is unfinished business and part of leadership is to bring peace. Lots of blame, hard feelings, accusations and no peace.
If La Mirada weren’t such a tame, bedroom community this might make for a decent cable series. I’d like our local leaders to fix this.
But I’m supposing that olive trees don’t grow during election season, even the wild ones.