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05/12/2012: "Jasmine"
Jasmine and BicycleThere is something primitive yet sophisticated in the odor of jasmine in full bloom, filling the lungs with a sensation of vivid cleanness, sparking the nerves with its sweetness. Combine it with the rhythm of cycling, and you have about as powerful a pleasure as you can indulge in in public view....

Los Angeles is redolent with jasmine now; it's a popular shrub, easy to grow, pretty, and with a perfume so fundamental that it's indescribable; instead, you use it to describe less-primal things that also make you feel this good. As I ride through the city, every few blocks I merge with an invisible delight as the perfume drifts on the wind from gardens, flowerpots, and those narrow planted borders so common alongside office buildings, so that even the busy main streets are graced by this perfume. The motorists, ensonced in their hermetic armor, plugged in to canned and structured entertainments, miss it all. But walkers and cyclists can fill their lungs, and hearts, at will. There is little finer about springtime in our city.

Out on the bike, breathing deeply, every molecule of scented air a gift...only a blue sky over the blue Pacific can exceed it. And we ride through jasmine on our journeys to the sea....

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