A Perfect Day






Now that it is wet, now that the Rains (capital letter to denote their lofty presence) are well and truly ensconced, I long for dry high, blue skied days.  There aren’t many at this time of year.





And I know of their presence, or not, the moment I open my eyes.


The dawn of clear days is reflected in the lightening western sky which forms my waking view and which blushes as the sun, bald and naked, bounces unabashed above eastern horizons. I can see leaves shivering on tall trees as I lie contemplating my first cup of tea. I can see early shifting shade.





And I can’t hear rain. I can only hear next door’s guinea fowl, rudely stirring chickens to rise with his loudly insistent chatter, ‘Get up! Get up! Get up!’ he demands.  Some of his companions are late risers; he’s often still at it come lunchtime.  My neighbour, from whom I buy eggs, says he flew in from nowhere and stayed.











 Whilst my garden thirsted for rain for weeks, months, now – now that it is here in almost daily deluges – it smiles broadly at newly rinsed blues above and occasional suds of tiny white clouds which foam lightly but have quite disappeared come noon, indiscernible against an Omo-white hot sky.


The water lilies are open wide and generous. We collected them from the dam. I am pleased to see how they thrive in my tiny pond along with schools of tadpoles which will morph as fat ugly toads that frequently find their way into the pool and have to be fished out. The antherium lilies are polished, waxy red and the single rugby ball proportioned bloom on the banana tree sports unfeasibly delicate blossom when examined up close.





We find a baby chameleon amongst the palms. He scurries, fairylight, up and down fronds, which whisper not the smallest protest, trying to escape the prying lens of my camera. His rolling eyes anticipate my every move and he turns on his infinitesimal heels as I zoom in on him. My mother used to tell us, as children, that she had eyes in the back of her head. The belief, for a bit, that she really did proved valuable deterrent to back-seat scrapping. The chameleon rolls his back-of-head eyes at me again and curls his tiny tail and navigates his way gingerly to green obscurity.




 And brief respite from drenching showers means we can escape to the sanctuary of the dam. A rare treat in wet months when the ground is permanently sponge-soaked because an impossibly high water table means it has nowhere to go once it has filled the rice paddies and potholes and puddles to overflowing. 




The dam waters have risen and the scrub thick and the banks swim in a sea of grasses, their different coloured heads heavy nodding in happy acknowledgement of a dry, lightwinded, merrily propagating day.




 And we drive back, into dust strung against a setting sun, a uniquely African veil, thrown up by the tread of bovine hooves or the clatter of home-bound wheels.





And I give the draught excluders a cursory nudge as I head happy to bed.




28 Responses to “A Perfect Day”

  1. Sophia Says:

    What a gorgeous post. Languid and all-embracing, like a giant bouquet. Your blog is wonderful. My favourite reads are when you record days like this. It reminds me of Diane Ackerman and the way she can heighten my senses with her descriptions. Thank you.

  2. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    thank you Sophia. How kind. and thank you for reading, too.

  3. rosiero Says:

    You write so beautifully and capture the mood. I loved the photos too – such un-English pictures that represent the area you live in. That chameleon looked so cute. I bet he doesn’t know he is famous now!

  4. Almost American Says:

    Wow! Every single one of those photos is stunning!

  5. Wife in Hong Kong Says:

    You have a neighbour?

  6. The Finely Tuned Woman Says:

    You are a very eloquent writer. I envy you your richness of words to perfectly describe an scene or a feeling. It seems to come effortless to you and that’s what makes it so pretty. I don’t feel that you’re forcing the words to come and are pushing them into my head. They gently find their way in by themselves and have me savoring your every experience.

  7. Iota Says:

    All that greenness and growth. Incredible.

  8. Grannymar Says:

    I almost felt I was there with you.

    Great photos.

  9. QldDeb Says:

    I am soooo hearing you! We just finished our wet season and unfortunately had some HUGE king tides to go with it. A lot of water, lots of roads falling apart, people being flooded etc. But I also wish for the sun when it is raining, and the rain when it is searingly hot. Strange lot we are. I’ve found mould growing in the weirdest places. So it’s now an excuse to buy a new lounge! Any excuse will do.

    I just re-read my comment and your response from the last post, and even though I envy you, I understand that too much of anything is not a good thing. I hope you didn’t see it as a criticism, I think you do a wonderful job as a wife & mum, but I don’t think I got that across. I’m not always as good with words as you are!

  10. janelle Says:

    oh god PLEASE SEND THE RAIN OUR WAY!!!!!! still dry as a bone here…flip. xxx j

  11. mothercityliving Says:

    what a wonderful description… so evocative! and i love the chameleon photo – fabulous.

  12. Tash Says:

    lovely A… what special images of perfection. It’s raining here where I’m parked in my car in the Mara, waiting for a lioness to show herself… but while this is the perfection of artists and poets and authors, your personal perfect is even richer, for the way you describe it, and the way you share it… xx

  13. Expat Mum Says:

    I would never have said chameleons were cute, but now that I’ve seen the baby version – aaah!

  14. nuttycow Says:

    What a lovely little chameleon. I remember we used to have a couple at school who a source of constant amusement.

    Glad the rains have finally hit. It seems spring is on its way over here. The trees are blushing green and a few brave crocuses have woken up.

  15. Anil Says:

    The rain will have danced to the melody of your words, so lyrical are they as to pave nature’s way.

  16. Bo Says:

    Just dropping by.Btw, you website have great content!

    Instantly Search Millions of Public Records & Resources

  17. paradise lost in translation Says:

    , the chameleon got me too. Defintely, surprisingly, has the cute factor! Glad you had a good day. Stunning, stunning photos.

  18. Mozi Esme's Mommy Says:

    Feast or famine where the rain is concerned, eh? those are gorgeous photos…

  19. R. Sherman Says:

    Marvelous photos, as always.


  20. whoopsadaisy Says:

    Wow, what a wonderful description! And I too loved the photo of the baby chameleon – I think I might love the first one more with his little eye peering out of the grass 🙂

  21. laurie Says:

    WOW. i’m scrolling through these beautiful flower pictures, jealous, because we still have snow outside, and then suddenly there’s this adorable little big-eyed….creature.

    what a great eye you have. (what a great eye HE has, too.)

    wonderful pictures.

  22. Kim-free Classified website Says:

    This are gorgeous photos, you made me feel like I was in a different location.You made spring more exciting.

  23. More than Just a Mother Says:

    I just can’t decide what’s more amazing; your words or your photos. Both are beautiful.

  24. Catharine Says:

    I love the photos! Thank you for bringing a little bit of Africa back into my daily life.

  25. Paula Says:

    Picture taken by the soul and words straight from the heart. I miss Africa.

  26. Pig in the kitchen Says:

    oh i want the chameleon, pleeassee! love the pix, you ARE making them into gorgeous hardbound books via photobox.co.uk aren’t you?? it’s very addictive, and yours are really worth showcasing!

  27. Roberta Says:

    You live in the most amazing place. I showed my husband the picture of the chameleon. He was so impressed! He wants me to send you a picture of our Black Snake. (shudder).

    He and I have discussed this. How wonderful it is to see other places through kindly eyes. I wish I could share more of West Virginia with you!

  28. Rich Chick Jen Says:

    Do you sell your photos, they are lovely.

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