We have our own set of refuge – our going into when we feel overwhelmed, lost, sad, or just need that good vibe, that rush of positive energy to fill the gaps.
That I have felt with Toto’s Africa. I can’t make out the lyrics at first but, anyway, found myself wildly dancing to its beat. Singing with Dax and Kirsten’s music video amplified the trick; for a moment it has taken me to the savannas of Africa, lip-syncing myself, embracing every bit of the song.
When I think of Africa, I think about rain. Precipitation at its peak. I think of how blessed we are in the Philippines despite the floods and the not so good things we associate with it.
It’s automatic: rain here in our place means caution, at least to me. Umbrella, raincoat, even boots. It’s a must to be constantly updated of the forecast, making sure one’s place is not doomed to a deluge of disease-carrying water and ‘bad’ weather in general. We seem wired to worry about the rain for some understandable reasons.
Rain in Africa is what people there look forward to. They will never wish the rain ill-will, lest it will stop. Seconds of downfall means momentous lush of green, fat cattle, flying ants, and double-arched rainbow. That’s why they bless the rains down in Africa.
People take refuge in its raw beauty. A day or two of downpour is a yearning that wants to go on.
I never saw it that way until I have read a laid-back book by some gentle soul named Alexander McCall Smith. It’s comforting to know that there are people like him, passing on beauty and basic human kindness over a hot cup of tea.
It’s comforting that refuge can ease on the simplest of things in a rather mundane life. May it be from a simple song, rain in some place, or wisdom from a good man.