Across everyone’s lips for the last few months has been the talk of drought. Along with that, the shaking of heads at the dry expanse that greets you as you look around at the bush and the surrounds of camp has stirred up many a conversation. While we have had small amounts of rain over the last few weeks, it hasn’t been enough to quench the insatiable thirst of the bush, nor has it been much to write home about.
But that’s about to change. While I’m not writing home, I’m writing from home with a happy report of the first summer rains at Londolozi. Life-giving, energy restoring, re-affirming rain.
There was much to say about how happy we all were to see these big, heavy drops of water fall from the sky, and drip from trees and roofs. I could have gone on about what the rain will do for the land and how happy it made all of us to feel new energy in the air, with the promise of regeneration and renewal. But before I could get into any of the philosophical stuff, I started the day on Monday, as the rain began to softly fall, by filming a bit of it for my own personal use, and to share happily with friends and family with the simple caption… “It’s finally raining!. As the morning progressed and the rain began to harden in a steady stream, I couldn’t help raising my phone’s camera to capture the joy around me as the whole of Londolozi celebrated. All around me were ecstatic faces, broad smiles and people standing in the rain with open arms, heads cast to the sky. This display of joy, along with the poetry of water falling and splashing in all the different ways it does was too much for me, and the camera kept rolling.
I couldn’t help acknowledging a few common themes flash through my mind as I witnessed the rain. One, very clearly, was that of joy and gratitude for something that so many people may take for granted. It was (and is) an incredible thing to witness how joy feeds off joy, and gratitude grows from gratitude-whether your own or someone else’s. It was also a pertinent affirmation of the age-old idea that you don’t know what you have until it’s gone, and a reminder to simply be grateful for the fundamental things in life, and let the rest of the complicated, messy things go.
Finally, as the rain dripped off my nose, and I recognised the glorious, childhood feeling of squelching around in wet shoes and socks, it was a reminder to take yet another leaf out of nature’s book. It was a reminder that patience pays off, and that the things that we need will come eventually. You just have to have a little faith.
I’m sure that in the coming weeks we’ll capture more stories about the changing nature of the bush after this initial rain. We’ll rejoice in the extra green of the bush in the coming Week In Pictures, and we’ll report back on how the land and the animals have responded to the rain. Hopefully we’ll get much more rain as well. For now we’re celebrating the first real summer rain at Londolozi – wet feet and all!