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The Rain in (Cameroon) Stays Mainly (After June)

Until this month, I had never met a Season I didn't like. Anything can be exciting, or romantic, or nostalgic for a few months. Except, apparently, Rainy Season.

I was initially surprised when my Cameroonian friends had no concept of Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall. Having lived through most of the two Seasons here, I can see why. In Dry Season, we are waiting for rain to bring down the Harmattan so we can breathe again. In Wet Season, we are waiting for a break from the rain to escape our muddy, moldy houses. Why bother with meaningless designations like Spring and Fall, which to Westerners conjure up images of baseball opening day and pumpkin spice everything -- images that similarly mean nothing in the non-Western world?

Last week, a cough drop reminded me of Winter nights in New York. And I was sad. I started playing Christmas music (I know -- it's September; this is ridiculous). I put clove and orange essential oils in a dinky little infuser (in light of my sentiments towards naturopathy, this is stranger than fiction). I made (unfortunate tasting) hot chocolate from cocoa and powdered milk. The rain continued. The maddening drips from the tin roof to our tiled ceiling compose their own tell-tale heart symphony.

Daily, I attempt to find yet another inside game for my rambunctious little crew. There are no libraries, mall play places, or fast food playgrounds to escape the zoo that results from cooping up small humans in rural Africa. We don't have a car. We can walk (with umbrellas) to one of several neighbors' houses, most of whom are working at the hospital where too many young people are dying of malnutrition, HIV, or late stage cancer.

Following this line of thought, I find myself irritated at the ease by which I am irritated. Seriously? Babies, kids, and young adults are losing their lives in ways that would never happen in my home country, and I am wallowing in my disgust for rain. Life giving, life growing, generous gift-from-God rain. I never disliked rain before moving here. I found it beautiful, thought provoking, soothing, and refreshing. Now, it just reminds me of my sinful tendency to be dissatisfied with where I am.

Don't we all, in some ways, rush from season to season? Hurrying through singleness, so we can start on the adventure of marriage? Wishing away infancy, so we can finally sleep more than two consecutive hours? Looking past the exhausting, repetitive cycle of discipline in the preschool years? Hoping we survive our children's teen years? Saying we will serve God fully in retirement, when we are exhausted from a life of pursuing lesser things?

What does it look like to live with open hands in every Season, especially the ones that seem interminable even as they fly by? We are often advised to embrace the lessons each season brings, but this is abstract and difficult to accomplish. Instead, it seems we should embrace the Maker of all Seasons. We can trust Him to bring goodness to where we are, and to bring about goodness inside of us. Though He never changes, He changes all things: even the most tiresome of seasons, and even me.

Comments

  1. Nice My Fair Lady reference ;)....but seriously, thank you for this reminder <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who doesn't love a little Julie Andrews/Audrey Hepburn in their day? Haha. Appreciate you!

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