Tommy Kapai: The season's blessing of colour

By Tommy Kapai

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The blessing tree arborists and green fingered gurus call jacaranda.Photo/File
The blessing tree arborists and green fingered gurus call jacaranda.Photo/File

Christmas has come early for the believers in the blessing tree that usually flowers just after school breaks up and Santa has stacked his sleigh to the gunnels ready to bungee down our children's chimneys.

The blessing tree that our arborists and green fingered gurus call jacaranda have been a part of home grown history in our family, by virtue if you stand underneath them and allow a purple petal to fall on you, the mistletoe effect is a halo of good luck and long life.

The other more simplistic explanation for its ingoa (name) is every time you look at its vivid beauty the blessing tree smiles back and rewards you with one.

The colour kaleidoscope of this summer's showing off by God is the bonus of having the blessing tree and the Kiwi Christmas tree - aka Pohutukawa, on show at the same time.

Usually it is a staggered toanga (treasure) with firstly the crimson korowai of the Kiwi Christmas tree (Pohutukawa) and then the purple rain of petals from the blessing tree.

But this year is a big bonus as we get both at the same time.

A quinella of colours all across Tauranga Moana and the combination of Waiporoporo and Whero - purple and crimson, brings joy by the bucket full to aged hippies like this one.

This summer all the colours in Mother Nature's collection have shown up somewhere over the rainbow and delivered a knockout punch of prettiness.

It's as if Papatuanuku has smacked us in the eye with a full clout of colour and said: "See I told you I was in charge!"

Perhaps it is a wake-up call to us 'straight down the guts blokes', who wear the same old colours. Black with a splash of Bob Marley thrown in on occasions was about it for me.

Perhaps this is the year to dare to be different when wearing colourful clothing?

Dare to be different could well be my New Year's resolution.

Dare to be different in choosing colours to wear and surround myself in, like a Garry Poole collection of colourful shirts and ties.

How easy on the eye the new crop of councillors is.

When I attended my first Council hui recently it was like Wonder Woman had waved her magic wand and sprinkled colour across the board room.

No more grey, silver and the occasional daring splash of colourful cufflinks, with the odd floral frock thrown in for good measure.

Au contraire. There was more colour than Woodstock and Sweetwaters thrown in together, on almost every piece of council clothing - none more so than the new chief executive Garry Poole.

Perhaps it is Garry who can pave the colour revolution forward here in Tauranga, and spread it out into the community, starting with our Harbour Bridge.

Empty out the discretionary funds Garry with fairy lights twinkling bright into the night across the bridge. Or different colour combinations for different occasions just like Sky Tower?

Now there's a conversation that could never have been held with the last batch of the beige brigade.

There would have been outrage and mutiny among the ranks. My, how a few short weeks in politics can change the colour of a council and breathe fresh air into a city?

While we are on the bucket list of beautifying our communities, how about a lot more walls with Owen Dippie murals splashed across them? Yes please.

Locally there could be a bit of blush showing its colour in council when the green light is given to a bakery right next to public toilets, while nationally the colour yellow comes to mind with the egg left on John Banks' face.

AuckLen may have to wear a bit of blush, as the leader of the land of a thousand lovers (Tamaki Makaurau) - if he is to leave the other 999 to the other wannabees waiting in the wings.

But the brightest star of the week has to be the founding father of the Rainbow Nation, Madiba Mandela, who - like the jacaranda tree - has left us each with a big blessing and left the world with a legacy of what the true colours of life are all about.

broblack@xtra.co.nz

Tommy Kapai is a Tauranga author and writer.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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