from the journal // ugandan thunderstorm
It’s been a clear morning. The doors and windows are open, letting the fresh breeze circulate through the house. There aren’t any glass windows here to block the air. I can hear the birds outside my window–not very different from American birds. The gentle rushing of the wind through the trees–banana, papaya, eucalyptus–is different, like the sound of a gentle rain whenever the wind blows.
But storms come quickly in Uganda. We sit down to lunch on a bright, beautiful day; when it is time to clear the table and bring the dishes to Nakandi, thunder is rolling ominously in the very near distance. Dark clouds sweep in, and the African bush becomes suddenly overcast.The thunder is a steady rumble. Sometimes it rises, loud and assertive, and then it fades away, a quiet rumble somewhere in the sky. But as it comes nearer, it rarely stops.
Lunch is over now. There is a dash to bring in the clothes from the line, and the kids run to their rooms to pull the shutters closed. Toby ties the goat on the front porch–it sneaks in through the open door and has to be shooed out again. The doors and some of the windows stay open. It’s like being outdoors, but inside. On the path that runs past the house, children are making their way home from school. The powerful thunder and sprinklings of rain don’t phase them from stopping to play along the way.
Sometimes the rain comes, and sometimes it only threatens–a few drops here and there, but nothing more. This time it comes down quietly, making a gentle pattern on the roof. It smells fresh, and clean, and exotic.
And I sit here with my journal, wishing my words could truly capture the beauty of the elements.