Sunday Morning ~ The Stick of the Children
Ndodo ya ana ndiyo aphera njoka. ~ It is the stick of the children which killed the snake.
~ Chewa proverb
August 21, 2022
We got four inches of rain here this week. It started gently and I worried it wouldn’t be enough. Early on Wednesday we watched from under our porch-bed net as the grey skies let out just the slightest bit of mist. Not knowing what was to follow, I worried this would not be the soaker we needed. Amelia and James have been here for a week now and knew how much I wanted it to rain. We wrote our morning story, hopeful the weather app wasn’t wrong. I drank my tea and we looked around for our morning visitors but there were no butterflies to watch or hummingbirds to tease us. As the rain drops got bigger and began falling steadier, the kids eagerly exclaimed the good news which made me laugh. I love how they want to make me happy. The rain finally came straight down in a steady rhythm, precisely how I’d hoped. Satisfied we didn’t have to do more wishing, we crawled out of our dampening nest and went in to do rainy day stuff.
For the first time in months we stayed in the house for an entire day. The kids played with legos and stuffed animals making up stories with elaborate themes, acting them out with great aplomb. We wore sweatshirts for the first time in several weeks. Though we’ve had dry summers before, this is the hottest one I can remember here. The rain was such a relief. It was a good rain, steady for fourteen hours, filling up every upturned pot and leaking down the greenhouse walls. There was no torrential downpour to wash away the top layer. The earth was cement-like from the drought and there wasn’t much loose on top to wash away, but I worried about extremes.
My garden hasn’t produced much this year. Between the late start and the dry conditions I’m picking enough to eat but nothing to preserve. The rain this week gave it a boost but many of the plants were weak and spindly, insects were attacking, and chipmunks and rabbits were taking more than their share of the harvest. My garden is important to me but before getting too depressed about it, I thought about areas where the entire landscape is changing because of drought. I imagined having my dietary customs eliminated because of the weather. The wars in South Sudan are fought over the shifting farmland, whereas I can walk across the street to the farm and buy vegetables if the drought wrecks my garden. If the farm couldn’t use their irrigation system though, what then? This could be much worse. Blueberry farms have lost half their crop.
My grandkids keep me distracted and away from the news. Watching them I can easily see how avoiding current events can become a habit. I’m listening to headline news clips and relishing the idea that this generation of brilliant little minds will kill the snake. I’m being educated on how much smarter kids are being raised. After graduating from his year in public kindergarten my grandson can read multisyllabic words with ease. I never even went to kindergarten! I was well into first grade before the whole Dick and Jane story started taking hold. That just sounds like baby talk to me when I see what these kids are doing. I’m embarrassed to even tell them what I was reading at their age. They are comfortable with varied races and same sex couples. I remember thinking Liberace was the only gay person in the world. These kids won’t be fooled by some reworked textbook full of whitewashed history. I don’t expect them to fix all that previous generations have done to harm our civilization and planet, but if they so chose, I believe them capable of it.
Love to all,