Because of the rain, I am not doing planned work in the garden today. I might have still tried if it were not so cold as well. In the grand scheme, rain is good, as expressed by Mma Ramotswe in Blue Shoes and Happiness, the new book set in Botswana by Alexander McCall Smith.
She looked up at the sky, which was empty, as it usually was. In a few days, though, perhaps even earlier, there would be rain. Heavy clouds would build up and make the sky purple, and then there would be lightning and that brief, wonderful smell would fill the air, the smell of the longed-for rain, a smell that lifted the heart. She dropped her gaze to her garden, to the withered plants that she had worked so hard to see through the dry season and which had lived only because she had given them each a small tinful of water each morning and each evening, around the roots; so little water, and so quickly absorbed, that it seemed unlikely that it wouild make a difference under that relentless sun. But it had, and the plants had kept in their leaves some green against the brown. When the rains came, of course, then everything would be different, and the brown which had covered the land, the trees, the stunted grass, would be replaced by green, by growth, by tendrils stretching out, by leaves unfolding. It would happen so quickly that one might go to bed in a drought and wake up in a landscape of shimmering patches of water and cattle with skin washed sleek by the rain.
We had a drought of our own last year, though it did not compare to African dry seasons. Though we have no cattle in the church gardens, there will be plenty of other signs of good fortune that will follow this rain.