Posted tagged ‘millet’

“Vexed sailors cursed the rain, for which poor shepherds prayed in vain.”

July 13, 2020

It is a new day but seemingly the same day. The small breeze, the clouds and the humidity were yesterday and are now today. Henry and I had business outside. He did his. I did mine by collecting the last two chair covers and bringing them inside. I had left them out to dry. They had, but rain is coming. All the covers are piled in the kitchen. The storage bins are under the deck maybe. They could be downstairs. I’ll look tomorrow. As for today, I need to go out, two stops, maybe three if the rain hasn’t yet come.

Standing out in a rainstorm was one of my favorite things when I was a kid. Downpours were the best. I’d stand there with my arms spread, my face to the rain. I’d get soaked. Sadly, downpours never lasted long. The sun always made a comeback. I’d stay outside and dry.

In the dry season, everything turned brown all around me. I walked on hard ground cemented by the dryness. My lips chapped. My feet became calloused. I used a lot of lotion. I adjusted, but I hardly liked the dry season. It was so hot every day. Its only saving graces were the bugs disappeared, and the hot air was actually dry. We kept eye. In April, the humidity started. The rain wasn’t far behind. The first rains were downpours thicker than I’d ever seen. The dry ground had rivulets. The rain on the tin classroom roof was so loud I couldn’t be heard. I used the blackboard to teach. Sometimes I got soaked running to class. I didn’t mind so much. It rained most days. Everything in the fields turned green. The women walking to market were hidden by the tall grass. Millet grew high in fields behind my house. The rainy season, though, didn’t seemed to last near enough. In September, the rain came less frequently. By mid-October it had stopped. It was the dry season again. I had come full circle my first year in Ghana.

Here, the rain can come any season. I like it best in summer.

“What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps one in a continual state of inelegance.”

September 1, 2018

Today is again glorious, cool and dry. The sun is strong. The sky is blue and unmarred by clouds. I’m going to sit on the deck and take it all in because by Sunday the ugly humidity will be back.

Today is the meteorological end of summer, and Labor Day is the unofficial end but none of that matters to Mother Nature. She will continue to blast us with heat and humidity until fall can finally work its way past her. I’m hoping it will be soon. Fall is my favorite season.

In Ghana we had the dry season and the rainy season. I lived where the dry season was hotter than any other place in Ghana, but now it is the rainy season there so the temperature in Bolga, my other home town, is the lowest it will be all year. It has been in the high 70’s and the mid 80’s there, and rain has fallen just about every day. It is odd to see it cooler in West Africa than it is here.

During my early Peace Corps days, I missed fall, the snow at Christmas and the freshness of spring. I missed flowers. But the longer I lived there, the more I came to love the changes in Ghana’s weather. The rains came intermittently in September. The fields and grasses began to turn brown. Every day seemed hotter than the previous one. By the end of September, it was the high 80’s. In October it was the high 90’s. The worst months, February through April, usually reached 100˚ or more. My favorite month was December. The days were hot, but the nights were cold in comparison. I needed a blanket. It was Bolga’s snow at Christmas. In May the rains started. The grasses turned green. The fields were filled with the young shoots of millet, maize and sorghum. The trees were green with leaves. It was spring, Ghanaian style. The market was overloaded with fresh fruits and vegetables. The tomatoes were luscious.

It has been a long, long while since I lived in Ghana so I have forgotten the horrific heat, those days over 100˚.  Back then I seldom complained. I took my cold shower late, jumped into bed and fell asleep. Now I complain and moan and turn on the air conditioner.

That’s the way it was there, and now that’s the way it is here.