I’m glad we got the umbrella, Chelsi thought to herself whirling it on her shoulder. The sun cast through the fabric creating a blue halo for Chelsi’s shadow. She smiled, looking ahead at her dear mother chatting with their Zimbabwean cultural and natural history interpreter, Cynthia. What would we have done without Cynthia?
The vegetation around the cemented stone path was lush. Bright green palms hung down, drip, drip, dripping mist on to path. Just a step off the path, a fawn colored bush buck grazed on the tall grass. Chelsi did not understand though why all the grazers hadn’t flocked to the edge of falls. Just on the other side of the fence, the boundary for the Victoria Falls National Park, the landscape was scorched. Dry grass crunched under foot and brown leaves clung to thin trees. And to think it probably wouldn’t rain again till January. At once she was relieved and startled that she was glad to call her home Solwezi, where tall trees would still be flush with green leaves till the next rain.
Chelsi continued following her companion down the path, until they reach an off shoot with a clearing to her left. She took it to the rail, figuring her mother and Cynthia would eventually stop to look for themselves and she would catch up then. The Mist that Thunders, that’s for sure. Water gushed over the edge of the earth, hitting the rocks below with such force the water sprang back like upward rain. When the Zambezi called it back, the water returned reluctantly, falling as a slow, delicate mist. Chelsi listened hard for the tinkling of it on her umbrella over the thundering of the falls.
Her thin cotton, chitenge dress was becoming drenched, but was glad she passed up the poncho. She knew the day would come, even in Northwest Provence that she would wish to be as wet and cool as she was now. She soaked it in.
“Hey there hun, how are you doing?” It was the voice of her dear mother, calling from the protected cover of the trees. They have turned back for me, she turned to face them.
“Good,” Chelsi smiled. “I’m glad we got the umbrella.”
The two women laughed.
“You don’t want to get a better look at the falls?”
Her dear mother shouted over the roar of the falls, “No, we’re okay here. I can see.” Even wrapped in your thick rain poncho, huh? Chelsi looked back over her shoulder. An electric colored rainbow revealed itself through the mist. The colors shown brighter than any she had seen before, so bright in fact it appears to be casting a shadow; the colors there where a subtle pastel.
“You don’t want to see the double rainbow?” Chelsi called back, now looking at the empty space where her mother had been standing. After one more look she hurried after them.