The dry season had raced to the finish line. I gazed at the horizon and saw a string of lightning. Thunderbolts flashed before me. The hard-blowing wind brought the ripe star fruits, papayas, and mangoes down by the dozens. Flowers from the acacia tree littered the ground. The still-wet clothes flew off the clothesline and fell onto the muddy yard of our compound. Quickly and unexpectedly, it started to drizzle.
I watched as the animals rushed to take cover against the fury of Mother Nature. The lizards trekked to their refuge by the trunks of the trees. The African fish eagle and the secretary bird jogged to their nest. The rainy season had stuck its neck out.
For a moment, I was a spectator to the game of life.
In the middle of this whirlwind, a rooster walked confidently, with its chest out, in defiance of the hazardous weather. The beautiful plumage on its body was wet but vibrant. The crest on its head was erect, in defiance of fate. The rooster was in charge, the supreme guide of its own destiny. Twice it crowed boastfully, and its large beak snatched earthworms everywhere.
I admired the rooster. One day, I thought, I would be like that rooster. I would mold my destiny like clay, become the sculptor of my fate. By sheer force of will, I would remain on the arena, never running for cover, never waiting for the perfect weather or time to eat. I told myself this. I even convinced myself.
As my thoughts drifted into another world, a heavy downpour started. The cacophony of deafening raindrops hitting the tin roof drowned out the screaming of my baby sister.
I stood inside the door, watching as my brothers rushed to get buckets. The roof was riddled with holes, and without those buckets, our rooms would turn into a lagoon. Already, the courtyard was transforming into a swamp.
I marveled at the toad seeking food. A solitary dog and its bitch roamed, looking for leftover animal bones to fill their empty bellies. I felt pity for the canines. The realization that I was at the top of the food chain made me uneasy. It seemed unjust. Something in creation felt deeply flawed.
Then suddenly, sun rays flashed once again. Our hen got out of its coop and shed the water droplets from its feathers. A pair of snails, whether from curiosity or pushed by anger, crawled here and there. The banded martin and the dusky lark got to work completing their nests. The weaverbirds were again busy making love on the two mango trees in our backyard, shaking their branches. And the ant colony, with the queen at its head, followed by male slaves, started their long march toward the soursop tree.
It had stopped raining. The cycle of life resumed its course, undisturbed. My mother came out of our home and paid two passing loggers to split the still-wet cooking wood. When I stepped outside and looked at the skyline, I saw the arc of an amazing rainbow.
“Damn, God is indeed the almighty. This is so beautiful. I wonder how this is even possible?” my brother Black exclaimed.
“So, you believe God created this rainbow?” I joked.
“Hell yes! Who else could do something like this?”
I stared at him, shook my head, and just laughed it off.