A picture showing Moyo Okediji art piece "OLODUMARE"

The Rain and Olodumare

The Rain and Olodumare

I just returned to Austin, Texas, from Ghana where it has been raining all summer.

The landscape in Ghana is lush and green.

The farm products are in abundance. It rained on my last day in Accra and I enjoyed the sweet scents of the soil stimulated by the falling drizzles.

But in the whole of Texas, there has been no rain this summer.

“There are no butterflies this season,” my neighbor said. “It seems a whole colony has died. The butterflies were everywhere last season.”

She was using a hose to wet her beautiful front yard, fully decked with flowerpots of various sizes, blooming with petals of numerous colors and shapes.

“How do you keep your flowers looking so good despite the lask of rain?” I asked her.

“With my water hose,” she responded. “Twice daily I soak them with water.”

It was about 5 am this morning and the sun was not yet out. I could hardly see her in the twilight. Yet it was already warm. The lingering heat from yesterday was still in the air because the temperature was 105 degrees yesterday.

“It will be hot again today,” I informed her. “The forecast says it will be 105 degrees again. It was nice and cool in Accra where I went. It rained regularly.”

“That’s why I am wetting the flowers before things heat up again,” she said.

I remembered my conversation with another friend at the coffee shop yesterday. He did not believe that the weather was nice and cool in Accra because he has a stereotype of Africa as the land of sun and blazing heat.

I told him that the temperature back in Accra couldn’t be compared with the oven hot temperature of Texas.

“That’s impossible,” he replied. ”Everybody knows that Africa is where the heat is. But you people back there are very strong.”

He winked “knowingly” at me.

Then he continued, “You guys can handle the terrible heat in Africa. It’s nothing to you; you even farm in the blazing sun. The heat here in Texas has driven everybody indoors into their AC.”

What could I say to convince him that the weather is cooler in West Africa than in Texas?

Texas should pray.

How could we have no rain for an entire season in Texas, with the temperature constantly above 100 degrees for weeks and weeks, with no break?

Is Olódùmarè angry with the land? I went and wrote OLÓDÙMARÈ in my Yoruba alphabet.

May Olodumare help us all.

May the butterflies return to our gardens soon, to dance with our flowers.

May the rains come home to us soon.

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