A Splash of Purple: The Colour of My Home City


October in Pretoria is a purple month.

It is the month when the numerous Jacaranda trees in the city  bloom and transform Pretoria into a purple wonderland. Purple flower carpets cover the ground underneath the trees and  the flowers above form a purple canopy, giving the illusion of a huge purple tent. They appear as if from nowhere , these beautiful purple blooms, between one day and the next, the trees are clothed in soft purple.

Suburban streets are filled with a soft hazy purple light from the overhanging blooming trees.

The carpets of blooms under the trees evoke little girl memories of imagined fairies living under the flowers.

Falling flowers remind me of student myth that a falling Jacaranda flower on the head means luck and a sure pass in the upcoming year end exams.

The purple Jacarandas in October mean home to me and always will .

Photos taken by the author on 17 October 2012

When the dogs bite, when the bees sting when I’m feeling sad

I simply remember  my favourite things  and then I don’t feel so bad.

One of my earliest memories is of lying on the bed with my mother while she is reading to me and my sister from my favourite childhood book, Stories van Rivierplaas ( Stories of a Riverfarm) By Alba Bouwer

Stories van Rivierplaas

The author’s use of alliteration and rythm in her writing evoked the most vivid pictures in my imagination of two little girls, one with dark hair and one with white blond hair running through the long ,yellow, dry veld grass of an African farm to play at the river. In my mind’s eye I could see the little blond and black heads bobbing just above the grass as they ran along and I wished I could join them.

I could hear the sound of Aia Mietie working and singing in and around the house with her bangles going cling-aling- aling and her long dress and broom swish swishing as she cleaned. I could taste and smell the putupap rolled into little balls with her fingers and dipped into sheshewa which she ate sitting  with her legs stretched straight out before her in the sun next to the house. All this while lying on the bed with my mother on a cold highveld winter’s day.

The book has long since been lost in the business of living, but being a human being I  was blessed with a wonderful thing called a memory. A sound, a taste, sight or smell, can  in an instant trigger the wonderful memories that form the tapestry of life. Therefore I long ago made the decision  if I have a choice, I would rather buy an experience to enjoy with loved ones and friends, giving me more memories to add to the allready existing files in my brain than another material object which can be lost in many ways.