I’m lucky enough to have a desk right next to a large window at work. It’s wonderful when it is sunny. But yesterday the overcast skies suddenly turned black and the clouds let forth a downpour that made it almost impossible to see across the street. It only lasted 10 or 15 minutes. But it made me think about the monsoon rains in India.
India’s monsoon seasons are legendary. The country gets an astonishing 70% of its annual rainfall between June and September. Last year was one of the worst in recent memory, with an estimated four times more than the average rainfall. Hundreds of people died and thousands lost their homes. We didn’t hear from some of our partners for weeks because landlines and mobile phones were out.
Slate Magazine has a fascinating article about this year’s monsoon season predictions. The author calls it “the most important forecast in the world” and says this time of year India’s meteorologists are national news figures.
I’m not surprised. Every year 1.2 billion people collectively hold their breaths to see what the rainy season will bring. Monsoon rains always carry the possibility of extreme weather – be that flooding or drought. And the implications are deadly. Entire villages have been literally swept away by flooding from monsoon rains. And even worse, thousands of farmers have committed suicide as a result of losing their entire livelihood when the rainy season isn’t rainy enough.
I can’t begin to compare my 10 minute downpour to a monsoon rain. But it’s enough to remind me that, especially in the next few months, I should be praying for a monsoon season that isn’t too much or too little… but just right.