Day by day we drive the well-worn route along the periferico - the peripheral highway that carries us from San Salvador north. When the grass is short and the air is clear we take photos along the way, catching a quick glimpse of the San Vicente volcano in the distance or the cloud formations over Guazapa. As the years have gone by, large factories, a trucking corral, and tightly packed rows of houses surrounded by concrete walls have invaded the landscape, yet the grass continues to thrive.
One day, unexpectedly, the grass produced blooms - big, white, feathery blooms that gleam in the sunlight.
Our pastor tells us that this valley has been planted with sugar cane for as long as he can remember, as long as his father can remember. Before there were trucks or or factories or the highway or even the diesel power plant, this valley held water and was planted with cane.
The sun sank low as we drove back to San Salvador. Ahead of us, the road seemed to end in a sea of white gold as the sunlight skipped along the tops of the sugar cane blooms. "It's always like that," our pastor said, "one day there are no blooms, then suddenly the whole valley is a sea of flowers."