Thursday, October 4, 2007

Summer: Worth the wait


Each year as winter drags itself to a dry end, I get panicky as I wonder when the first rains will fall. By now my skin is like sandpaper, the air feels parched of moisture and the dust is suffocating. I will it to rain, with a desperation first experienced as a child. In the 80s, the worst drought imaginable left a path of desolation and desperation behind it. I was 12 years-old when I saw animals, so thin from hunger, get trucked off to the abattoir. I remember rain clouds gathering themselves up for afternoon thunderstorms which were dissipated by the El NiƱo effect. I saw the grass disappear, vegetables shrivelled and died as the borehole sucked the last drops from it's empty depths.

Now when it rains, it feels like an old part of me soaks it up, I'm greedy for it, and relish the sound, smell and sight of it. One of my favourite smells, apart from puppies, is the that of the Highveld's first summer rain. It's sheer luxury lying in bed hearing it fall outside in the dark. It's invigorating and thrilling to sense it's thunderous approach.

Knowing that farmers in our catchment area will have the jump start to the season that they need, to grow what is hopefully enough food to feed the four-leggeds who need it; eases my anxiety.

So imagine my anger when I see gardeners around town WATERING THE PAVING because they're too bloody lazy to sweep their driveways clean and nobody's told them to do otherwise. It drives me insane, to see water wasted. Burst water pipes gushing what might as well be gold, are enough to make me burst into tears. I am filled with a sense of trepidation for a summer without rain.

To quote Oprah: What I know for sure... is that I am eternally grateful for the rain which has turned my garden into a jungle, making poop-scooping impossible and the advantages of owning a lawn mower obvious.