Monday, October 15, 2012

The Day the Rains Came

Jonas and I were outside when the rains came.  Winds blew and clouds had gathered as we raced around the yard to pick up toys and move furniture inside.  As the sprinkles started, I was taken back to childhood.

I have been destined for Africa since I was a small child; my most vivid memories involve learning about this amazing continent I now get to call home.  I remember the bloated bellies of waddling Ethiopian babies on TV, and my first desire to change the world I suddenly found cruel and unfair. I remember dancing and dreaming of future journeys to Africa while the record player pumped out a crackly version of It's A Small World in my living room. And I remember afternoons with my still heroic father, cuddled on the couch with a bowl of cheese balls watching National Geographic specials about African animals on the TV.

Remembering images of dying animals desperately lying around dried watering holes on those specials made the first sprinkles joining my goosebumps on Saturday pure jubilation.  It hasn't rained since February, and though the largest animals in the neighborhood of our African city involve starving dogs and scavenger birds, I felt suddenly connected to the wildlife of Africa as I paused to feel the deluge come.

The thunderstorm was supposedly tame by African standards.  But the purge of a two hour monsoon was an answered prayer worthy of celebration. Fields are watered, wells are filled, and the burden of dryness has been lifted from the plains.  I've experienced thunderstorms hundreds of times before, but on Saturday we were part of something very special.  Rain.  Finally.