Africa must have a thousand words for rain. Like snow to Eskimos, there seems to be endless variety. There is rain, light and delicate that whispers through the leaves, falling like aerosol. There is rain moving in from the distance like a rolling thunder, a jet-engine touching the treetops, pushing the air before it with such force that leaves flee their limbs in chaos. There is rain that bites your face as you strain to see the horizon from your boat in N’Dogo Lagoon. Rain that lulls you to sleep beneath the corrugated roofing of Safari Lodge. Exploding rain of brilliant sparks as the canon-blast of thunder slams you to this side of now. And rain turning the waterscape of lagoon and mangrove a hundred shades of gray.
And then there is more rain.
The rainy season has welcomed me to Gabon. Life slows as if swimming underwater, every motion planned and articulated to its efficient outcome. Like a silent movie, blackened elephants slip through a grainy atmosphere to fade from view at the edge of the forest. Birds seem to choke mid-song, their garbled cries drowning in this forest of rain.