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 still blooming !!
The jacaranda on the corner of our road in Suburbs, Bulawayo was always one of the first to bloom and we would always anxiously scan the bare boughs daily for the exciting signs of purple. Sadly it succumbed to the dreaded white ants last year and is no more so we have no Jacaranda alarm bell.
But we still 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 !!
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 every single green leaf one can get, to my simple mind.
This time of the year in Zimbabwe is usually green and verdant, sadly we are experiencing another excruciating drought and the countryside, apart from the Eastern Regions, where Cyclone Idai settled in her particularly venomous way, is vaguely green but rather more dusty and untidy.
I suppose this might be from where the term "browned off" is derived !!
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 Wear Kevlar 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 , Hee Hoo 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, it's 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.
The Flame Lilies are long gone but the Teak Trees are brilliantly green in the hope of rain, and despite the unrelenting drought, its always good to be home in the Summer...