Wednesday, November 10, 2010


It’s raining.  It always rains in November and Nairobi and its environs are turned into cities of life; growing, green life.  Everywhere you look plant life that was lacklustre after the cold dry months before is thriving.  The jacaranda trees are in bloom and they drop their flowers to form a carpet of purple blossoms.  But purple really isn’t enough to describe the variety of colour all around.  Lilac and lavender so sweet they look good enough to eat.  Deep violet blooms stand out in the sheer majesty, pale and precious purple it takes your breath away.
But even the jacarandas cannot compete with the greenery.  Green is not my favourite colour.  I used to happily declare: ‘I have nothing green in my wardrobe’.  I can’t claim that any more; I have a green t-shirt.  It was a gift from my sister who thought it would, ‘Suit me perfectly.’  I’m still not sold on green as a colour to wear but I have a whole new appreciation for it.  All because I stopped to look and then truly saw.
More shades of green that I ever saw litter the city.  Trees differ from hedges, flowers differ from bushes.  New shoots sprout and have a different shade of green from the old and worn leaves that came before.  Yellow green, dark green, jade and juniper, blue-green, army green and various shades of khaki.  The green when sun’s rays break through clouds and glisten on rain soaked leaves or the dark looming grey-green in the pale glow of the moon.  Green is beautiful.
When the rain falls in Nairobi and the green things grow, one cannot think of green as anything other than the colour of life.  It reverberates with aliveness; with an inner knowing of just how powerful it is.  Duality dictates that balance be kept.  Green is life but it is also envy.  I do not see it in the delicate curve of a new leaf or the ancient spirals of a clinging vine.  But maybe it is true that green is the colour of envy because I envy the world such a glorious wardrobe.

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