Sunday, 9 March 2008
The pouis are back
In 2003 I was out of the country. I heard that this valley, unscathed by the drought and fires of the dry seasons during the years I had lived in its embrace, burned that year. By 2004 when I was back home it was the same as I'd left it: green and lovely. Since I've been back the dry seasons have been barely that, with rain throughout, so I have so far, thankfully, never seen this valley turn brown. The pouis have bloomed in abundance every year, as if to remind me of what I'd been missing, and to chastise me for the despair I often feel over the state of my country.
Every year, around this time, the pink poui (Tabebuia rosea) dot the hills, the verges, the fields and savannahs with clouds of shimmering colour. Words cannot describe the sight, nor can pictures do this blooming tree justice. Few joys compare with standing on a carpet of pink under one of these mammoth trees, staring up in awe as showers of the trumpet-shaped flowers rain down on one. At moments like these even my doubting soul acknowledges that yes, there must be a God.
The pink variety, which can be any shade between palest pink and vibrant lilac, has burst into bloom once more. Everywhere I turn, it seems, the incredible beauty is stopping me in my tracks, making me catch my breath. In a few weeks the show will be over, and the golden poui will be everywhere, equally startling, equally breathtaking. The golden variety is like the sun, dazzling and brilliant. The pink is... softer. More delicate and ethereal. Less... brazen.
I love them both. But I have to admit, I love the pink more.