Now, anyone that knows me will tell you, I am by no means a superstitious person. I will happily smash mirrors, hang around black cats (although my cousin's one is genuinely evil) and scoot under open ladders. But for some reason, this year I was overcome with worry regarding a local superstition and it's implications for me.
Okay, so maybe that's a minor exaggeration; I wasn't exactly overcome with worry, but it had occurred to me...
So at our university, there is an urban legend that, come the end of the year and the advent of spring, there is only one sure way to know that you will pass your exams (or the year, if exams are not something you have to do anymore): be hit by a falling Jacaranda flower on campus.
Every spring, the jacarandas of Johannesburg bloom, transforming the landscape from a hollow tan that personifies the dead highveld winters, into a lush forest of deep greens, offset by the lilac-blue explosions that are the jacarandas. Jacarandas produce an exhaustive display of flowers at the start of spring, before they produce any leaves, resulting in huge purple trees scattered across the city, and campus. Johannesburg isn't really known for the jacarandas and dwindles to insignificance when compared to our sister-city, Pretoria (Tourists apparently go there just to see the jacarandas!), but you still feel the transformation in Joburg all the same.
So I was a little concerned when, almost half-way through the university exam month, I had yet to be hit by a flower. Then, yesterday, I was loading stuff into my car, exhausted, mind abuzz with statistics nonsense that I'd been doing all day. I felt a breeze picking up and noticed that my car was awash with little purple flowers, almost adding insult to injury. I looked up at the jacaranda above my car and sighed.
A flower drifted down and bounced playfully off my shoulder and at that moment I knew I was okay. I was going to make it this year.