when we were young, there used to be a song almost ‘nursery rhyme‘ like
it was not solely for toddlers but for children in general we sung, every time the clouds seemed to signal a possible downpour. This was a rain song and as Africans, our elders believed that if children sung the rhyme the one above would quench the dry land with some rain, especially during the dry seasons.
‘Mankokosane, pula e ea na
(individual) (it is raining)
u tla hola neng?
(when will you grow/)
If this was not enough then the women of the village and neighbouring ones sharing similar drought plight would organise a marathon contest by young girls: ‘Lesokoana’-a steering rod. I am certain that in more cultures colourful as my own there were and are still such events which show the value of rain to all living organisms.
Back to the rain rhyme. Basically what it says is that whenever and wherever it rains, there will always be growth. We would chant the lilt hopping up and down in the middle of the rains and catching a cold or getting soaked wet was not our fear. Yes we did not have the same foresight our elders had while we prayed for the rain but one amazing fact is that aware or not, things certainly grew.
During this very dry times the tree leaves and flower petals shrivelled and the very grass died. most forms of plant life went on a long sleep only to be awakened by the rains and play time would really be spiced up for we could slide down the hill on our buttocks using used boxes like professional skiers without being scolded for being soiled from the earth dirt.
In fact, in the early stages of child development, to auspicate he or she as a member of the society or family, he or she is put outside in the rain in hope that the rain will wash away all the bad voodoo or evil that may rest in their path and leave only good seeds which will yield a man or woman of quality and content. ‘Ho kuruetsa is the first rite of passage, for a Mosotho, into the society. It so happens to be the first because the elders revered the role played by rain.
Even in the renowned book of life- The Bible, water is used in some of the most significant happenings of Christ’s ministry. He was baptised in water by John as has continued to be every other Christian to date. Later on he walked on the water during a storm while with his disciples, which to me shouts growth in the harshest of weathers and or situations.
Today it poured and I remembered my leaking roof top and I wished it wouldn’t rain until we got the problem fixed some time around Christmas but then I remembered Lord when it rains things grow.