A Moment of Gratitude

I want to start by thanking my indefatigable mother, Beldina Auma, for her unwavering support of Rain. They say a mother’s pride has no measure, and my own mother embodies this so thoroughly that it continually opens my eyes to new wonders.

My sister Grace Ajode Jibril — who best exemplifies her very name — and my brother-in-law, Yisa Jibril, two dedicated patrons of the arts who contributed enormously to making this volume possible, have my everlasting gratitude for letting me find the peace of mind to finish Rain in the shelter of their beautiful home and the company of their brilliant, beloved children, Aminatu and Saidu. Nor would I have resolved to complete this work after so many years of hiatus and distraction had my sister Tania Magoon not been the clear voice of purpose who never tired of spurring me on to make it Rain. For my family, especially my siblings, I offer the completion of this work as my heartfelt song of gratitude.

The family to which each of us is born has the potential to become all the richer for all the other families that we discover along the way. I owe an incalculable and irresolvable debt to Dorothy Kim, a fellow scholar of Medieval Literature who became for me, as she has for countless others, a guardian angel of agency. My heart overflows every time I think of the natural insouciance with which Dorothy enabled me to stand on my strengths. Thank you, with all my heart. I also wish to express my deepest gratitude to Mary Rambaran-Olm, who — I am certain — came into the world express to inspire and embolden every soul to embrace the unvarnished truth and speak without fear in the name of Justice.

When an elephant births a new calf, all of the cows of the herd gather in a circle around until the calf can stand on its own. I thank you, my sister, Tegla Kibor, for being first reader of Rain to ask those sincere and important questions about our understanding of the meaning of our histories. I thank you, my sister, Margarethe Matere Green, for listening, immersed, to every phrase and every word of Rain, and then coming back impatient for more! I thank you, my sister, Cecilia Rague-Kaisha, for listening and reading, patient and sober, to everything the story has to offer. I thank you, my sister, Caroline Rono, for so many beautiful stories of everyday life in that place where we all come together. I thank you, my brother, Andrew Muge, a man with no tolerance for nonsense who will always keep us all on our toes. I thank you, my brother, Rodney Enane, who, by fiat, made it imperative that I finish writing Rain. I thank you, my brother, Leonard Khafafa, a man of faith and Letters who extols the virtues and decries the vices that rise up in our land. To you, my brothers and sisters, I offer my humble, lifelong gratitude.

I offer sincere gratitude to my 언니 in Letters and Spirit, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor: yours is a place of honor graced in the light of beauty and truth together with all the poets who illuminate the way for us who follow the paths that you all have mapped before us.