In Johannesburg we all look forward to October, a month of exceptional beauty. Flowers burst with pride, the colours and fragrances are intense, even the bees seem okay.
And our beautiful Jacarandas start to bloom. We hope.
We start talking about them in September.
I wonder if they’ll be as good as last year.
Hope they’re okay, it’s so dry.
Been windy, maybe they won’t flower, oy.
It’s not late guys, they’re still coming.
They always come and they’re always exquisite. We can genuinely say our city is beautiful. We can ignore the garbage and the decay and the poverty that we see on a daily basis.
Because everything turns purple.
The streets are littered with petals, they fall on our heads, they crunch underfoot, they cause a few accidents with motorists suddenly stopping to go HOLY OH MY GOODNESS.
They’re magical and mind-blowing and their beauty makes us a little competitive.
They’re perfect, wow have you seen them from the top of the Westcliff steps, they’re amazing in Parktown, oh my gosh Pretoria, Brixton, Sandton, you gotta come to Houghton.
Well excuse fucking me but they’re actually the most beautiful in my neighbourhood, and they really are all you fools walking in Houghton, come to Melville, walk along 1st, 2nd, cross over 7th, look up, the light, oh my, I KNOW MY JACARANDAS AND DON’T YOU DARE TELL ME OTHERWISE.
October is a perfect month.
And each October is the same, which is why we love it so much.
But it’s transient.
In another week or two, the petals are going to shrivel up. They will be blown away by the wind. They will be swept up.
They will die.
We will see the garbage again. The decay. And the barbed wire.
We will worry all over again.
Until next October.
When we think hey, phew, of course it’s going to be okay.
Pics by Lynn Weisz.