Wednesday, July 6, 2011


The other day I was early for a meeting mentoring a friend. It was pouring rain, not the usual drizzle we get here but really pouring. I had my umbrella so I waited outside, standing there in the downpour, enjoying myself tremendously.

As far as I can remember I have always loved umbrellas. They rank up there with nice pens, old books, and hats that are not just ball-caps.

In my earliest memories in Texas, the rain when it (infrequently) came was the scary sort that you don’t go out into. Later when we lived in Colorado we lived in the eastern part of the state where you are technically in a desert. I would occasionally see umbrellas, but don’t really remember any of my own. But then we moved to Costa Rica for a year and my fascination with umbrellas was allowed to flourish. We got rain every day for months on end! There were times where we got rain non-stop for days on end! It was great.

From there we moved to the southern cone of South America, into a Marine West Coast Climate much like the northwestern United States. Umbrellas there are as standard as underwear. If you weren’t blocking the water from the sky, you had to shield yourself from the splashes created by passing cars or worse, buses. There were long ones with hook-shaped handles, short ones that folded up on themselves and could fit in a backpack or purse, and best of all—the kind with a button that would pop open by themselves!

Umbrellas are portable shelter. They allow you to get out in the rain (where we all secretly want to be) without getting really soaked. The sound the rain makes on an umbrella is second only to rain on a tin roof in inducing joy. When the wind turns your umbrella inside out, you get a unique feeling of panic that is only calmed when you manage to reshape it without breaking it. A broken umbrella, especially when it is an old, faithful friend of an umbrella, is a heart breaking event.

If you have an umbrella somewhere by your front door that is dry and unused and gathering dust, take it out the next rainy chance you get whether you have somewhere to go or not. Don’t move from garage, to car, to covered parking… that is no life worth living!

1 comment:

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