Do You Believe in Magic?

Little birds feast in a tea cup feeder, after the rain @ Marloth Park, South Africa
Little birds feast in a tea-cup feeder, after the rain @ Marloth Park, South Africa

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday and if I didn’t know better, I would think that nature pulled out all the stops to make his first birthday in the bush extra special!  It was also a day on which our country was blanketed in rain, snow and ice – but not in our neighbourhood!  We awoke to a darkened shade of red dust outside our door and the fresh smell of rain, but to call the moisture that barely glued the dust particles together rain, seemed like a gross exaggeration at the time.  Even so, nature considered that small gift of rain reason enough to celebrate – the birds were out in the biggest numbers we have had in our garden so far!  From the tiny Blue Waxbills, to the Yellow-Billed Hornbills and (my favourite) “go-away” birds (Louries) – they all gathered in our garden throughout the day and chattered, sang, ate and for want of a better word – REJOICED.  It was an exceptional day and as I thought of a way to describe it in a word, only one word came to mind – ethereal.  The light was magical, the peace was tangible and the joy was undeniable.  In our little piece of paradise, where the prolonged drought has severely deprived every plant and animal, a few drops of rain brought hope, and it was celebrated with gratitude by all of creation.

At 2 am this morning a loud of clap of thunder announced the storm, and there was no prelude to the symphony that followed.  A thunder-storm in the African Bush is an exceptional experience.  This was by no means my first, but it could have been, for the impression it made on me was profound.  The thunder literally rolled across the land in a slow but intentional growl and seemed to gain momentum before its loud crescendo crash.  The lightening took its cue to repeat the chorus and illuminated  the veld in a stark white strobe that lit the world up in ways that the sun never can.  Despite the deafening noise of the storm, there was an indescribable contradictory stillness too – as if nature was holding its breath in anticipation of the relief that would follow.

This morning the sun came and out and with it the birds and animals.  Today was an exceptional day in our garden because of all the animal and feathered visitors.  It was as if they were saying: “Titia, did you see the rain?”  More than that, I believe they know something else too.  I believe they are excited about the promise carried in the magic of yesterday’s little drops, and re-enforced by the power of the storm – the promise of the impending death of the drought.

Some would say its just nature.  I disagree – I think its magical and it blows my mind that the One who created all this exquisite beauty, loves ME!  Call me crazy, but I am completely persuaded that the whole of Creation knows knows His love too.  Without the burden of disaster accompanying the blessing of this rain, it was easy to simply enjoy the gift and appreciate the magic.  Sometimes its hard to see, let alone enjoy the magic in the storm because of the intensity of the onslaught.  If you find yourself in a storm right now, I want to encourage you with this:- no storm lasts forever, and sometimes it takes a terrible storm to wash away the past, kill the drought and bring new life…

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