The Periwinkle Shower
by Graeme Lottering

The weatherman would have been particularly surprised. Who could have forecast that on such an inconspicuous May afternoon, it would rain periwinkles?

The usual bickering playground voices become still waters, rippling with delightful squeals as the petite flowers drift downwards and settle on hair and grass and clothes, and cover the sandbox in a purple picnic blanket.

The children dance, heads tilted skywards, jumping like rabbits, in a vain attempt to foil nature further by flying high in a lucid daydream and sailing over the school yard fence.

Jenny, the oldest girl, points at the heavens and declares: “God is getting married and the angels are throwing confetti.”

A sunshine shower of purple sets the scene for kindergarten drama: Sally and Max collide after chasing drifting petals. Adorned in wreaths, Megan and Chanzeh argue over who is prettier. Mai sneers at a boy who stole the periwinkle that first landed on her.

The quadrangle where the jungle gym sits is covered by an unusual springtime downpour, a slow-motion hail storm of perennials grown in the clouds, and the only people aware of this extraordinary phenomenon is a class of 16 tots.

Beneath the cascading purple sun shower, boisterous groups of kids debate loudly whether God can get married.

Outside it is chaos: four of them are crying, two are injured, six are wrestling under piles of fallen flowers, and one little girl has tasted the violet plants, expecting them to be a sugary confectionary.

A sunbeam emerges between the parting clouds, saturating the colours of the school yard, and then, as if announcing the end of a dream, a bell rings.

In the distance the teacher calls: “Boys and girls, recess is over!” And so ends their kindergarten reverie. Naturally, just like the Boogeyman and the Easter Bunny, the unforgettable tempest of petals goes unnoticed by the grown-ups.

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