Hut With a View – 9/29/11
Clouds! Clouds! Clouds!
They came like rescue planes. Clouds! Beautiful, bellied, buoyant. Clouds! White and grey against blue. Clouds! Out of nowhere. Clouds! Suddenly there was shade. Suddenly, there was coolness. Suddenly there was diffused light. If you’ve seen my photos you seen that everyone has sharp contrasts. No diffusion. In the middle of lunch, I ran into the quad and shouted. Clouds! I grabbed my camera and began to document. Look! Greater than three weeks I’ve been in Zimbabwe, and now is the first time I’m seeing these giants of the atmosphere, these vaporous elephants, grazing the savanna of the sky, and leaving in their wake, a reinvigorating shadow. I’ve twice before seen attempts. Once about two weeks ago, and once last week. These were wisps. Water in a frying pan. Cirrus thoughts. One I noticed in the distance, and the other cast a slight shadow, but both were ephemeral and lonely. No reinforcements. Just advance scouts for the season that awaits us. Mind you, it has not rained since April. I have not seen rain. Smelt rain. Heard rain. I have not been in the shade of a cloud, until today. Repeat, not once. The sun is life’s companion, but during this time of year, it is also the enemy. It is relentless. It has no challenger. Today I saw a sign of home. A sign of hope. Luscious clouds. We take these for granted in the temperate zones. Is there ever a day when there is not at least one? I am gaining a deeper understanding of what is meant here by the word "season", the dry season, which I’m now in the midst of, and the rainy season, which I have yet to witness, but only today, can believe is not a fantasy.
"These will start to build", said Allan. "If you’re lucky you’ll see rain before you go". "When it does rain", said John dramatically, "You must go out and smell it". He then demonstrated how to fully inhale through the nose, leaving no scent behind. John is a passion man. "It rained today in South Africa", said Shane. Everyone took note. Like the invasion at Normandy, it would get worse before it got better, October heat will build, but the pendulum had swung. The Allies had landed on the continent.