Musings on Rain

June 2, 2012

There’s something psychological about rainstorms.

If there’s rain in the forecast, people bring umbrellas. The sky grows dark and as drops begin to fall umbrellas unfurl and hoods go up. The rain intensifies. It pushes people. They walk faster and bend forward under their umbrellas or hunch their shoulders. At some point those without umbrellas, raincoats, or hoods walk resigned — heads bent low, feet heavy and waterlogged they trudge along.

And at some point —when it’s raining sideways and the sidewalk is one ongoing puddle —even an umbrella is useless. It’s a prop, a child’s cape to protect him from harm.

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Driving through the city today I saw people throughout the “rain spectrum.” Some were still holding onto umbrellas like a lifeline, while others walked along unfazed, as though untouched by the virtual monsoon. I was in my car and thus remained mostly dry. I did, however, drive through an intersection that would probably have qualified as a small stream in other circumstances. I’ll count my lucky stars that I wasn’t one of the cars stuck in window-high water under an overpass in Northeast DC…

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