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Opinions of Friday, 30 March 2018

Columnist: Lerato Charlotte Letsoso

The Garden: When rain clouds gather

I had prepared to write about another subject this week when just on the second day of the week something prompted a turnaround of events.

It was just after midday when I had just finished reading our midday news bulletin that I received a call which broke my spirit. When I woke up that Monday morning, never did I expect to hear that my sons were no longer with a father, I had never anticipated death to come knocking so close to my door. Immediately, I felt a heavy weight on my head and right then I knew there was a heavy cloud in the air. It was the clouds gathering. This experience took me back to July 2017 when I wrote “When rain clouds gather” and this week on The Garden, I share it with you.

When rain clouds gather, life can be such a dark place. It seems as if you’re stagnant and nothing is just going your way.

You’ve asked for the rain so many times but yet no sign of it. Not even the dark clouds at this stage are a symbol of hope because by now you’ve waited so long and each time you thought “this is it” you were disappointed. And so, this time you are careful not to be excited, you are managing your expectations but deep down inside you still wish it would rain even if it’s just one or two or perhaps a few droplets just to give you a sign or hope of a breakthrough.

It happens with the best of us. You see, life has seasons, life has its ups and downs. Sometimes it seems colourful, the sun is shining and all things are rosy and other times we get so dry, and getting by is such an effort that even encouraging ourselves is a mission.

When we enjoy the good times, we hardly ask “why me?” We don’t even notice for how long we have been enjoying but in dry seasons we are quick to ask “why me Lord, and all these troubles” and for some reason the god of chronology is too slow because the season doesn’t seem to be coming to an end. In fact, the time seems to be on a standstill particularly during the season of the gathering of clouds.

Most philosophers have noted that it seems things get rather more difficult during this phase just when you’re about to breakthrough. I am convinced there is a scientific explanation to it as well. I have heard a few testimonies as well in alignment to this notion in that for most, their good stories were really after a dark time – just when we feel like throwing in the towel, when we feel like it can’t get harder than this as in things can’t get any worse. When we are tempted to surrender to defeat then suddenly it starts to rain and when it rains it begins to pour.

I call that phase “when rain clouds gather” it is a tough phase to face but it’s one none of us can avoid because it needs to happen before the rain. So if you’re expecting rain or are praying for rain, be ready to face the gathering of clouds. It will make you uncomfortable, it will make you question your belief, it will make you check yourself, it is really a trying time, a test that could really cost you a good season if you’re not sensitive enough. You could gamble with your rain by aborting the process therefore it is imperative to remain sane during this time, to perhaps remind yourself of the previous season and how at the right time you were showered with sweet abundant rain.

We are so quick to forget our journey sometimes when it is in actual fact supposed to serve as reference. On this day I remember how I felt when I learnt about the passing of my father and how I thought I could never live without him and yet, more than a decade later, here I am- still breathing. And so today I’d like to speak to you having waited for long. Please do not be weary, something is happening. Your rain clouds are gathering and at the right time you will be showered with abundant rain and you will laugh again. Do not give up.

Don’t despise the darkness that makes the light to shine, neither must you curse the clouds that bring you the rain. It is a dark time in my house right now, the clouds are gathering but I believe it is well with us – it is well with my sons.