As a Swede, it feels slightly strange to wait and long for rain. It is rarely something to look forward to in Sweden, but if you live in South Africa this is something that happens every spring …
At least if you live in areas that have summer rain, and only summer rain. In Johannesburg, where I live, most of the rain falls between October and March. There is some rain in April and it can also be some scatter showers during winter, but it’s really not more than a few drops.
So now, in early October, this is something that everyone here thinks and talks about. We are all very tired of all the dust that finds its way into just about everywhere! It’s actually one of the few times when the South Africans also talk about the weather. Usually one merely states that it’s sunny or cloudy and people give you strange looks if you ask how many degrees it is.
When it rains here it pours. There is rarely a Swedish grey sky that, day after day, emits a steady amount of rain. It is usually a dark black sky, the wind picks up properly and a raindrop is probably the size of a teaspoon. And the whole thing is accompanied by an amazing spectacle of lightning that lit up the whole sky and thunder so powerful that the windows vibrate.
As soon as the clouds pull in, expectations increase. And if the wind picks up a little, one can literally see the longing in people’s eyes when they look up to the sky to almost encourage the clouds to let go of a little water. But so far nothing, or at least not here in the northern parts of the city.
Well, last Sunday there actually was some rain. And when the first drops fell on the tin roofs in the area, I saw the neighbors jumping with joy, and the balconies were slowly filled with people and we all stood the with silly smiles looking up to the skies, and welcomed the first real rain. Or so we thought … It was a teasing rain from a pitch black sky, but we didn’t get much more than a light shower that only left a spots all over the dust cover.
So we continue to wait. Continue to look up at the sky. Continue to dust. Continue to bet on when the first rain will come. And we will rejoice when it arrives!
This post was written by Julia on 7 October 2013