Don’t mention the rain.
Rain, rain, rain, rain. The last few days in northern Europe have seen their fair share of rain. When I wake up and look out of the window in the mornings one of my first thoughts is “I wonder if it is raining today?” and that somehow affects my mood. Rain makes me gloomy and sunshine makes me happy. How stupid of me to be affected by something that I can’t influence, the weather. Walking to work this morning I noticed the younger children. They sit happily on their parents’ bikes to be dropped off at nursery, raindrops in their little faces and on their heads, they don’t seem to mind. Then we have the slightly older children who just love to look for the puddles and jump in them. Great fun I remember. When did I loose the love for rain I wonder?
Recently I was visiting one of my friends in Africa. We were sat in his mum’s house enjoying a cup of tea when there was a knock at the door. My friend went to answer the door and a conversation ensued. My friend left the house and returned about 15 minutes later.
On his return I asked him where he had been. He told me that when he opened the door two small children were stood in front of him, one child was 7 years old and the other was 4 years old. It transpired that the children had been walking for 5 hours that morning to try and find some water to drink and to take back for their mother and family. They were carrying two plastic gallon containers. My friend’s family have a water tank so their water situation was not yet life threatening. He gave the children some water and arranged for them to get a lift home. I was shocked and sad. I asked my friend if this was an unusual situation. He assured me with the current drought it was a common situation. People knock on his door daily asking for water and while he has it, he gives it. One day he knows his water will run out and ……then?
I asked him what may help him and his neighbours. A better water infrastructure but the chances the authorities can arrange that are very slim indeed.
We talked further and explored more possibilities. We finally came up with a plan to drill a well. On my return home I raised the funds for the well and we got to work building it.
Since installation of the well the water has been flowing and there are not yet any signs that the well is drying up. It could, you just don’t know, from one day to the next. Like living on a knife edge. So until that day my friend and a his neighbours at least have the most essential thing to life….water.
Sat at my desk this morning the telephone rings, a friend from Pakistan. He tells me that the heat there is unbearable and he is longing for rain. It is so hot that the children have stopped for their summer holidays. earlier than planned It is just too hot for them to go to school. Grave diggers have already stated digging extra graves. With the higher temperatures more people are expected to expire with heat exhaustion.
Temperatures in India are breaking through to new records. They too are dreaming of rain.
I turn and open my email to a link from a friend regarding the floods in Sri Lanka. Floods and landslides, water everywhere. Dramatic, horrific and heartrending, just imagine that you are caught up in something like that. It does not bear thinking about.
So here I am, I started today by complaining about the rain. I am sorry. I will try and remember the next time I wake up and the rainy weather makes me sad that someone, somewhere in the world, wants just what we have. We need it all, rain, sunshine and something in between.
Spare a thought or deed for those peeps who are suffering extreme weather.