​Faith in Jacarandas

At the flat summit of the caretaker’s pale green iron roof; that place it rises to before it begins to dip on the other side,rises a tree. It is blackish grey now and somewhat just a mass of barren branches swaying. On one of the rare sunny evenings in July, I sat outside facing that very tree and was struck at how unkind we humans are to ourselves; how unfair I had become towards myself.

Seeing that tree reminded me of Jacaranda trees along the streets of Nairobi and those scattered all over the suburbs I see on my way to town. For close to a whole year, these Jacarandas are merely a mass of bare branches that grow unimpressive green leaves during the rainy season. And yet, come September, I know that they will carpet the pavements of Nairobi in soft purple and wear that same hue on themselves like purple afros. I know this without a doubt.

How come, unlike trees, we expect ourselves to be in peak performance at all stages of our lives and not just be calm in our unproductive phases? Like writers hitting a block every now and again and wondering for a scary moment if writing was merely a skill we had for some time and has now escaped us forever.

How can I have more faith in the blooming of Jacaranda trees, but not in the knowledge that I will rise again no matter how often I fall?

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