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

16 comments:

Dumdad said...

And over here in Paris it has been raining virtully all day. You're welcome to have some of our wet stuff...

tut-tut said...

ah, I feel it here. The ground is crunchy, and the rocks are moving up out of it, it is so dry. Even in this month, when it should be wet and gray.

PurestGreen said...

I hate being scolded for breaking customs I didn't know about. Where I am from the First Nations custom is that you should not point at a mountain as it is disrespectful. Of course I only learned it after I had pointed at one.

Where I am in Scotland it has rained every day now for...I have lost count. It is cold and everything is sodden. I can't image the kind of long dry spells you write of. The idea frightens me.

I'll try to send some rain your way.

Reya Mellicker said...

Oh yeah. This time of year. I'm imagining renewing delicious rainstorms headed in your direction. I don't think it worked last year to visualize, but it can't hurt.

May all your thirsts be quenched.

Karen said...

Oh man, I see those skinny cows in the photo. That's scary. Hope the relief comes soon--maybe sooner than the moon...

Will said...

"Pointing at the rain". If I ever write a novel while living in Seattle, may I use that as the book's title? What a nice expression!

Bill

JoeinVegas said...

It really does look dry in your photo

Val said...

here's hoping you get some lovely dust settling rain very soon! it works on new moon too no?
eish xx

karen said...

Hope that you have had some by now.. our dry season ended with a spectacular storm recently!!

elizabeth said...

I'm doing a rain dance for you, my darling.
When we lived in Maroc there was a horrid drought and the resevoirs were all low low low.
I said that people were wasting water on golf courses....Abdelatif from a village in the hills agreed.
Well-educated, middle-class Hayat merely said "God will send rain."
so I didn't say anything and then guess what
the next winter it rained and rained and rained...that put me in my place

bisous etc etc

Anonymous said...

I need my lights on as I drive them to school - I certainly need them on when I drive them home - the sun has not beaten the clouds for over a week - the trees all look dead as their colourful leaves lie sodden on the floor - there are villages severely flooded in Cornwall and worst of all I can't see any stars at night as the clouds prevail! I suppose the world would be a dull old place if it all worked to plan. BUT, I would love to wake to wide blue skies with a warm fat sun shining down on dry baked ground !
life is always greener hey hey hey xxx

family Affairs said...

All OK?? You've gone v quiet xx

Lisa L said...

it will come. the rain. it always does eventually...

Janelle said...

hey lulu.....yes. ok...just waiting for end of term...so i can breathe again and think for myself...a luxury long gone for now! feh. xxx j

Lori ann said...

rain yet? school out? oh dear, i hope these things happen quick if they already haven't.

i saw a lot of horses yesterday and thought of you. i think you would love californias central coast (wine country). perfect for cowgirls. :)

xxx l

Amanda said...

hey janelle - i miss your blog posts and was checking in to see what is going on -- just read the above comments -- looks like lori and i are thinking alike! ;-)

.....once school is out, will look forward to more ghost (or any kind of your) stories......