The View at the End of the Day

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By Eliza Deacon Waiting for the rains. Long days hot and dusty, the air is damp and my skin feels too tight.  As the afternoon wears on and the wind picks up, seed pods and small branches rain down on the house; its tin roof magnifies the sound and makes me start and the cats wake from their afternon reverie. From my office, where I sit now, I look up beyond the tall elephant grass at the top of the garden, see Kilimanjaro beyond and the black sky that surrounds the mountain, dark and swirling. But it’s a tease, it makes much noise and fuss but then dissipates like the dust devils I chase on the open road in the space between the mountains. I just need an inch, says James, an inch of rain will make all the difference to the coffee growing in the folds of red earth around us.

I run to tie back windows and doors as they swing wildly; let the winds blow straight through and clear out all the hot stale air. Our house was built in a wind tunnel and I think nature has defined a line between Kili's peaks and down over the Steppe, channeled by the tall trees on each side and picking up speed as it goes. Opening all the doors wide feels like good karma. I am reluctant to get in its way and want to let it go wildly through through and out the other side. I hope that with each gust the things that have haunted this last month, stress, sadness, and disappointment, will be blown far away.

Standing outside I feel the sweat drying on my skin and smell rain on soil elsewhere, but not here. It makes me feel giddy. I want to be woken by the sound of rain thundering down on our tin roof early in the morning, and look out to see clouds below us. Walking on the farm with muddy feet and red dirt dogs and a house that stands firm against the elements but allows it all in. This is what makes me happy.

Each year it's the same and we wait.