In most black families there is an abundant number of superstitions that come with rainfall. To be honest even if I were to attempt, I would never be able to cover them all. I live in such a family and as time passed I realized that some of the superstitions they have don’t really come from believing it rather these superstitions come from a survival instinct. I will talk about that in a few.
I grew up in a household roofed with corrugated iron, if you don’t know, corrugated iron makes the rain sound worse than it should or it is; every heavy rainfall feels like a community is throwing rocks at your house. There is a high intensity of dread as well, it makes you wonder and question if the roof won’t collapse.
Growing up in this household I had that thought for years, every time the house would come out having survived and on the next stormy weather, the fear would kick in again. As we all know, fear is born out of something. We watch a lot of documentaries and news were stormy weather destroyed homes and internally, especially living in a household as mine, you’d wonder what if you are next.
There was one time when I was young when my fear did come through. It was a stormy weather with heavy winds. As usual I’d sit or lie somewhere in the house and watch the roof, I don’t know why I do that, but it has become a habit in stormy days. I was watching the roof and as wind blew, I’d see the roof move. I had a thought to grab hold of it and hold on to the fridge just for safety measure. In my moment of finishing that thought, I swear in that moment of though, our roof blew out and I watched the corrugated iron fly away, hitting the electric wires.
There it was, an open blue sky staring at us. There were screams, I didn’t scream. I watched in awe mixed with anger and fear. It wasn’t raining hard anymore, luckily. We quickly moved some stuff to the room that didn’t blow away, and it was fixing time. The roof needed to be fixed at that time or we’d suffer.
I’ve never forgotten this day, it was one of the days that drilled to me that I should really build a safer home for my family. Even on the days where I am busy living calmly at res or the apartment in Scottsville when stormy weather hits, I sit looking at the roof top and wonder if they’re okay at home.
I certainly think there is a huge difference between corrugated iron and roof tiles. Those tiles make you feel safe; there is less or hardly any sound on tiles. Fucking tiles.
Superstition 1: NO sleeping
During stormy weather sleeping is perhaps one of the best things that come to the body, except when you fear you might wake up with no roof. Now when you live in a black family, sleeping during stormy weather is a NO. It apparently goes against tradition, but if you have been reading this blog correctly you’d realize that perhaps it is not the case of tradition or superstition, it is the case of if you sleep you might not wake up and of course the fact that when push comes to shove and we all have to escape tragedy, if you’re asleep it doesn’t help.
Superstition 2: Cover reflective surfaces.
I probably kind of get the next one, the covering of shiny object. Absolutely it is imperative that shiny object or reflective surfaces be covered during stormy days. Yeah sure there is a possibility that lighting is attracted to reflecting surfaces, but who came up with that theory, I wonder? So at home when there is a stormy weather, mom rushes us to cover up all the mirrors and the pot, a tedious task really but we never understood and somehow these days it is done on instinct.
Superstition 3: Call on ancestral protection.
Now the next one I have no idea what mother was doing, but in stormy days I’d expect and watch her do it. She’d burn incense and leave it by the door, all my years I never asked why she was doing that, I just watched, then she’d make us chew in some odd sour plant.
These actions, these small things done during these stormy days, almost become cultural, of course I didn’t believe in any of it, but my mom did and that was enough for me. It’s okay for her to believe in it, for all of us I guess.
I am writing this blog not necessarily to share these superstitions but to share memories. These memories are triggered by a stormy weather that I am currently experiencing as I lie on my bed at home. All these memories are rushing to my mind like a flood, pun intended. If I were younger my mom would have yelled so much that I am using my phone.
I am writing here and on my bed and the roof there are leaks. Yeap, roof leaks, now there is another corrugated iron roof experience. I have about four leaks on my bed, of course I didn’t know about them until this heavy storm today, a really messed up place to have leaks. So I have small buckets and stuff protecting my blankets.
What a life right??
Honestly as Kay would say, Human living has fluctuated so much, but we are still fragile in so many ways. Storms and disasters are probably the things that exist to remind us how little we are.
So what memories do you have growing about stormy weathers? More so What superstitions can you share that are done?
Do share I’d love to hear.