Safe inside, toasty warm, while water pitter-patters on the roof… describe your perfect, rainy afternoon.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us RAIN.
The part of South Africa where I live, can be prone to drought quite often. Rain is therefore always seen as a blessing. Most people have rain meters in their gardens, and it is always a good topic of conversation in our town: when last did it rain (probably February…) and how much rain did you have? We almost never have some of the English and Irish weather of weeks of rain at a time. Most often it is just a quick thundershower, with one farm gettin 20 mm and the neighbour getting 100 mm… with the question asked around the next braaivleisvuur “What have I done to deserve this?” (Barbeque- always a social event, to be held as often as possible… a vegetarian in our midst is someone who loves chicken and pork…)
Well… when it rains… it is a good time to celebrate life, as it does not happen very often in the Bushveld. Then it is time to cancel all appointments for the rest of the day. If it is the end of a long drought one might be tempted to dance naked in the rain… it has happened… But on a rainy afternoon, it is time to slow down. I love laying on my bed with a good book. Or in the arms of my wife, talking about love… We love pancakes in the rain (crepes) and hot chocolate. In a thunderstorm the electricity gets knocked out more ofter than not. Then we love to cook on gas, and sit around candle light with the beautiful sound of rain on the tin roof. It gets very dusty around here, and when the rain falls, it has such a cleansing effect on human and nature. The dust gets washed off. The air smells clean and fresh. Our plants react to the rainwater so beautifully- immediately every plant and tree just looks much greener and healthier.
Rain is a celebration of life around here. It is a special occasion. Our family in England and Ireland can’t understand it anymore, because rain is the normal weather there. Here- we love rain, we make love in rain, we play in the rain, we dance in the rain. Rain is full of hope for the future, there might be a crop this year…
But let’s go back to a rainy afternoon in 2010, when we hiked as a family with friends the Blyderivierspoort Hiking Trail in the Lowveld of South Africa… The route was badly marked, and the maps were totally useless… this was the weather of the day…