Savannah Grass*

Its carpet-like grass 

  • green in the rainy season
  • brown in the dry season.

Its wide expansive space

  • littered with aged, adult, adolescent, and youthful trees.

Its huge umbrella-like shady trees.

It’s devoted coconut vendors.

It’s a tranquil ambiance. 

It’s an oasis amidst a bustling noisy city,

Drawing people to play, compete, relax, chill, exercise, party, buy and sell. 

Like the Savannah Grass

Human attraction to each other is initiated by external beauty

  • the beauty of personality, physique, status, or giftedness. 

We play in the grass of romanticism.

We lay in the grass of intimacy.

We shelter under the shady trees of unending conversations.

We enjoy the expansive space of this unknown person.

Like the Savannah coconuts, we are refreshed by the novelty of a new relationship, a new person, a new feel, and a new touch.

Most relationships are meant to be superficially valuable.

We play.

We run.

We chill.

We exercise.

We admire.


On the Savannah Grass of life.

Few relationships move beyond, beyond the fluffy surface of the Savannah Grass,

Embarking on an explorative journey of drilling 

  • drilling for something deeper, more meaningful, and more satisfying than the beauty of the facade.

As we penetrate the surface grass,

We discover the mystery, the enigma of the person.

We discover idiosyncrasies, imperfections, and ideological positions,

And forget the initial exquisiteness of the grass above.

The drilling bit of persistence now encounters hard rocks,

Hard rocks of stubbornness, stunted growth, silliness.

We encounter truth – the raw truth underneath the Savannah Grass.

The temptation now abounds a plenty

To abandon further drilling:

The rock of truth is too hard to penetrate;

The rock of resistance is too tough to bore through.

The rock of unresolved trauma breaks many bits.

There are signs of either fresh or contaminated water deep down.

“Do I continue drilling, or abandon the relationship?”

There’s a struggle. There’s uncertainty. There’s doubt. There’s tension.

Some abandon ship. Others endure. 

If we endure

The drill bit of perseverance, persistence, and pain pushes on.

Drilling through human emotionally hardened rock,

Drilling through human imperfections,

Drilling through human broken dreams, disappointments, and distresses.

Finally, a breakthrough comes,

Not without broken emotional and physical drill bits

Accompanied by emotional tiredness,

But, refreshed, renewed, and reinvigorated by the discovery of fresh water, 

Or, disappointed by our worst fears of contaminated water

  • contaminated personality types, unresolved traumas, or malformed characters.

Then, there’s withdrawal to the surface of the Savannah Grass

Either to bask in its beauty alone or to try again.

For those who discover fresh water, there’s the commitment,

Not to perfection

But to live with the mystery of personhood.

Now we appreciate the magnificent surface of the Savannah Grass,

Not as an end in itself

But as a means towards an end;

An invitation, not just to play carnival mas on the surface

But an invitation to journey deeper into the mystery of life.

*The Savannah Grass, the Queen’s Park Savannah (QPS) in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, is a park, the largest open space, known simply as “the Savannah.” The famous Soca artist, Kes, popularized it in a song called “Savannah Grass.” 

One thought on “Savannah Grass*

  1. I just read this article after my ‘sounding off remarks’ on the last one.

    I didn’t get so emotionally involved with this one. Savannah Grass is a carnival term. As I read I felt the deterioration of what I felt carnival should be, and I thought that if there could be a return to the artistry of earlier years, the festival could be saved.

    However, as I said before, my emotions were not too involved. People are people and people change with time. Good article Fr. Don.

    Blessings, Yvonne


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