IT AIN'T EASY BEING GREEN !!
- 3/ 10/ 2004 <--Prev : Next-->
Heres a special thought for all of the Zimbabweans who have left their
precious country and are busy re -colonising the rest of the world !!
The jacarandas are blooming !!
The jacaranda on the corner of our road in Suburbs, Bulawayo is always
one of the first to bloom and we always anxiously scan the bare boughs
daily for the exciting signs of purple. We have an annual vendetta with
our Burnside cousins as to whose tree will be the first to burst forth
in glorious purple profusion !!
An interesting little fact about the jacarandas is that they were
brought in from South America where in fact they flower not once but twice a
year !! Go figure that one.
Another interesting thing about Jacarandas is that some folk consider
them to be vermin and indeed there have been moves afoot to eradicate
them from areas of indigenous trees like the Matopos. Strange idea for
environmentalists in a country bordering on the desert. A tree after all,
is a tree and one should be grateful for all one can get to my simple
This time of the year in Zimbabwe is always a bit bleak. The country is
dry, brown, dusty and untidy. The paper and plastic that has hidden
in the grass for the past few months is a lot more noticeable somehow.
The winter flowers have gone, the spring flowers are looking tatty and
summer has arrived in full force. So we tend to get a bit grumpy and
irritable at this time of the year.
I suppose this might be from where the term "browned off" is derived !!
But once the jacarandas arrive and the slightest promise of the rains
looms, life takes on a much more rosy tint.
One tends to watch movies made in England and Ireland during this
season in Zimbabwe. Movies where there are endless fields of rolling emerald
downs, where the mist falls gently on fields of the softest clover and
where the women's faces are soft and smooth, creamy and unlined from
the harsh African sun...
However the unrelenting browns, khakis and the burnished colours of the
African earth will always have the stronger pull for us Africans. I
will always remember a holiday we spent touring Ireland when She Who Must
Run was just eleven and She Who Must Sing was only a twinkle in her
fathers eye !!
He Who Must Be Obeyed (Or HEHOO as is affectionately termed) had just
returned from a day of indulgence in the Irish countryside. He was all
"Greened Out" after four weeks of unadulterated green grass. Green
hedgerows, greens rolling downs, and little green people too.
He had eaten his fill of Irish pub fayre with the odd Guinness and
Scrumpy thrown in for good measure ( In those days our holiday allowance
would only stretch to a couple of Guinness and one Scrumpy a day perhaps
but only if one gave up the after dinner kitkat )
He sat down and turned on BBC One and there before his green eyes, was
a documentary narrated by Terry Wogan of all people, on Zimbabwe. It
was filmed at the height of winter with all the browns, the sepias, the
yellows, the ambers, the oranges of a typical day at Hwange Game
reserve, and with typical firmness and reserve , he changed his ticket to
return home the very next day.
He had had enough of the soft greens and was suddenly longing, aching
for the browns of the land of his birth.....
And so it is in Africa ....its ours, its in our blood, we will always
be happier here where the mopani trees stand proud and stark and the
knob thorns mass like candy floss along the road sides.
If you need a lift, (you know the sort of lift I mean), the "my soul
needs to be cosseted" type of lift, the "my heart is heavy" type of
lift, , the "One foot in front of the other" type of lift, and you find the
Jacarandas are taking too long to cheer you up, take a drive right now
into the country along the Falls Road.
There it is like heaven, all the acacias are in full bloom, masses of
creams, yellows and whites. The Knob Thorn, the camel thorn, the hook
thorn, the monkey thorn all in full flower, like rows of comfy clouds or
acres of cotton candy floss, and too beautiful to be true.
Oh my, its good to be home in Africa in the spring !!