arbitrary stuff that comes to mind: whenever I feel like thinking aloud

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Day in the Life: Window Boxes in the City

Its a long steady walk up Ferreira street from 45 Commissioner.

Its a walk I do often enough, several times a week, and its always a there and back between 45C and the Simmonds street Superblock complex. To the left and right are the magnificent Anglo American buildings ~ some built in the earlier part of the 20th century during the Oppenheimer hey days: low and powerful and redolent of the Mining Magnates who once held sway in downtown Joburg; and one at least, to the left, the stunning Anglo Head Office structure built in the late 80's shows the shift to corporate respectability.

Normally there's not much time for reflection, you head on as quickly as you can because at the nether end of each trip is a meeting room and a waiting group of people. I could take the shuttle bus: but unless I have a laptop under the arm I prefer the walk.

Yesterday I nearly stumbled into the granite "decoration" around the pavement trees, and that started a train of thought. I was headed North down towards 45C, and today, as I made my way back up South, I was wondering about those window boxes.

Well, there you see how blind you can be to small touches of beauty along the way!

Now, my mother loved Geraniums and Pelargoniums.

There wasn't a holiday or a trip where she didn't embarrass the family by taking cuttings, and she would snip them carefully (as all good gardeners do) and bring them back into one of the many pots and corners of her garden and verandas. Even at their scraggliest, the flowers are rich in colour: making up for their lack of perfume, I suppose. And if you watered them often enough, then the greens of the branches are a pleasure in themselves.

So there I am striding South, and blow me if I don't have a mommy moment ...

Up against the walls of the Ashanti building, doing their best to cover the steel mesh burglar protection, are 6 window boxes planted with my mom's favourites. And there they have been, if the bird's droppings are any indicator, for any length of time.

And all that has kept me from seeing them in these many months (years?) of walking backwards and forwards has been the meeting rooms at the ends of a long stride up and down Ferreira street.

And we have, I suppose, the answer to the window Box question: accross Anderson Street and not 40 meters from the Rocks in the City the answer is ~ Yes, Joburg is getting soft in some of it's corners.

And all the better for it, I should say.

All images copyright (c) the author


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