Song For the Dry Season: Banga Hill

(from Eric)

The dry season is now fully advanced here at Kibuye.  The rains stopped sometime in late May, and have yet to restart.  The red dirt has become red dust.  The banana leaves next to the hospital road are colored copper by the powder tossed up by passing taxis.  The sky is hazy, and the leaves of the eucalyptus crackle like paper instead of their normal rustle.  

We wait for the rain.  We wait for green and growth.  We wait for the air to be washed out and the sky to return to its normal brilliant blue.  It should come within the next few weeks.  So I guess we'll just have to be patient and trust that maybe the dry season pushes the roots down deeper.  Maybe the foundation gets stronger.

We arrived in Burundi in August of 2013, and we moved to the hillside community of Banga, to study Kirundi for 3 months. It was dry then as well.  People told us stories about decades ago, during the war.  They told us that Banga had been hard hit, in a way that dovetailed with the end of the dry season, with the coming of cleansing rain.  I'm not in a position to verify their stories one way or another, but the imagery was striking, and so I wrote a song.

It's about rain washing the haze away.  It's about rain washing bloodstains away.  It's about the curious Christian truth that blood can actually wash stains away.  And through it all, we cry "Lord, send your rain."  It's been coming often to mind these last few weeks, as we wait for the rains to come.

Banga Hill
(click below then select track #9 to listen, download for free)

Here at the end of the dry season
I sit on the veranda and watch the sun
Sinking behind the hills ten miles away
as every tiny farm soaks up its rays
and when the rains come
they say I’ll see twice as far
as this dusty haze is washed away.

They say that it wasn’t so many years ago
the war came and cut the fleeing down
the hillside ran with blood for days and days
until the rain came and washed it away
Now they’re left with the pieces
of a life that’s left behind
a life maybe to somehow find.

Lord, send your rain, fall on all where we are
Though thirsty, we have run all from your well - on Banga Hill

It’s Friday morning and the people climb
up the hill into the church next door
A song is raised in beauty and in strength
the bread is broken and the cup is poured
it’s blood spilled out
that is somehow like the rain
it washes away all the stain

Bless the rain, falling on us now
the worst and the best, the hatred and love
on the old, and on the young
and let it fall on us, for we are all 
on Banga Hill

(5 Sept 2013 - Banga)

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