AFRICAN RAIN          - 1/11/2010      <--Prev : Next-->

If you have never lived in Africa you will never understand. Its the smell, most of all, that one notes first. The smell is tantalizing, almost enticing. Can a smell almost be electrifying?

Then its the atmosphere - dense, compact, stifling but enticingly aware. One tends not to notice the heat, the dust, the haze. Because when one has lived in Africa, all of these components mean the most wonderful of all things that is nature. An African thunderstorm.

Thrilling, exhilarating, terrifying, we cower at nature's might, we scurry frantically to safety away from the lightening bolts that are hurled indiscriminately around the firmament. But when the noise and angst subsides and that rain starts to fall, we all rush outside and do the crazy Zimbabwe rain dance !!

The jacarandas are now past their best, but there are still a few creating that famous purple haze. The flamboyant trees are sprouting brilliant promiscuous scarlet tips, a promise of glory soon to come. The unsung heros the Tipu trees, cast their eerie yellow glow across the horizon. The air is laden with the scent of jasmine and frangipani and when the wind drives from the north, one holds one's breath and waits expectantly.

During the mean years a wicked south westerly will come up spitefully and drive away the rain, but when Mother Nature favors us, we know we are in for something special !! We have been in storms in Texas, now that was something else.. they have storms like no others, we have seen storms in South Africa,theirs are noisy and exciting too. But when its your own storm, on your own patch, when every blade of grass is gasping, and every speck of liquid is precious, it makes it all the more special.

How many times have we forgiven Mother Nature ?

For sending 600 ml in half and hour and flooding the house so badly the fire brigade was called to pump the water out ? How many times have we lost our fitted carpets. How many times have giant trees been tossed around like match sticks but its OK, no problem, bring on the rain !! One awful year we counted over a hundred dead doves at the base of our giant fig tree, victims of an African storm.

The rain gauge is dusted off and installed in the garden, ready for the morning boasting session when we all ardently compare rainfall figures.

We scan the skies, we consult google and the El Nino sites frantically. An above average rainfall this year ? Praise be to God.