Last weekend we had some beautiful rain. Proper rain. Where the rain hammers on the tin roof so hard that you cannot hear yourself speak or think. Where silver strings of rain pour off the roof onto the earth and collect in ruvulets and then rivers, racing down the paths and roads. After the rain, the sandy soil is plumped up like a giant wet sponge. Every green leaf picks up its head and shimmers with diamante beads. The air hums with ozone. You know what I mean?
Well since then we have had light showers on and off, mostly in the evenings. Last night it rained softly, discreetly – a pitter patter of raindrops to cool the air and hold down the dust. This morning the mountains are clearly etched against a clean blue sky. Every crack and fissure, every purple shadow and lichen encrusted cliff face takes the stage in the clean air.
The ground is still wet underfoot, and below the surface when we drive out on a tour of the dams and waterholes – loving the fact that they are all full now just ahead of the winter dry season. This should be enough water to carry the animals through to the next rainy season now. Late rains are a marvelous thing really. The waiting is anxious time – the not knowing if they will happen – but for now that tension at least is gone.
We walked around the edge of one of the dams, following a path along side one of the inlets that feeds the dam. These are basically rivers of sand that only flow after a rain storm – flash floods. The thick quartzy sand is pristine in its flowmarks from last night save for the tracks of some turtles and a wildebeest. We follow it around its bendy course, from shade tree to shade tree – long wet grass slapping our ankles.
I am walking along the sand when suddenly I step into a waterlogged corner and my foot disappears half way up to my knee. It might have gone further if I hadn’t transferred my weight. I pull back on my foot, being careful not to leave my shoe down there. We laugh at me.
On the way back I get to thinking that the hole made by my foot will now be full of water, and some small creature will probably come to drink at this new waterhole in the sand. They may even excavate it further
Which brings me to the point that we should never underestimate our effect – as discussed in Geli’s blog yesterday. And there is always that famous mosquito to think of.
If we take this thought further, to a global perspective I think mankind in general makes a huge mistake in thinking that humans and nature are two separate entities. Perhaps if we saw ourselves as natural elements on this planet – as much as rain or ants or elephants - we would have more respect for this incredible natural world we are so much a part of.