Monday, November 8, 2010

no rain.

(the bleak road to school)
it's that time of year, oh bestests, when the rain is supposed to arrive and doesn't.
it's baking hot. white relentless heat. the earth is cracked and brown and the grazing is finished. the horses wander far from the little pink house in search of sweeter grasses and return listless and thirsty for water, which we are now trucking in. the tanks are empty like the skies. the nights are laced with an eery chill which is always a latent sign of no rain. i hate it. i am so scared of droughts. they make me think of those zululand days, when my father tried his hand at sugar farming and all my friends thought he was an onion farmer.

our farm was in the rain shadow of the ngoya hills. the storms would come but with no water - only lightening - which would make fires all across the vallies. we would sit on top of the hill and gloomily wait for the fires, my father all edgy with the binoculars and the tractor pulling the water cart at the ready. cane fires are terrifying. i remember after the first year of no rain. i was swimming with my father in the pool - all green and warm from the heat - hiding water scorpions and giant frogs. i made the mistake of pointing at a single giant cumulus cloud in the north and said "look dad! a rain cloud!" only to make him happier. he became quite agitated, nearly angry, retorting, "never never EVER point at the rain. you'll chase it away!" i wilted. we had a seven year drought after that. every time the bank manager popped around we hid the silver tea set and the range rover. i think my dad was trying for another land bank loan. . .

i am trying to ignore the pathetic wispy build ups which spurt weeny sprinklings of snow on top of mt meru and then dissolve into white heat. everyone is unconsciously tense and snappy and the maasai cows are skinny and the goats are sucking stones. there are mutterings that the rain will come after the next full moon, at least that is what our askari nyamuhanga says. he should know. he reads the wind and the skies....hurry up moon will ya?

toodely toot oh bestests. bisous X.X.X. burnt orange ones. x j