I wanted to run this morning, but it was raining, and I decided to walk with an umbrella instead. Rain makes me happy and my umbrella, which is covered with yellow, red, blue, orange flowers, proclaims this loudly.
The students lining up for the university bus were all carrying umbrellas — when was the last time you saw 17 umbrellas all in a row? Of the two hands needed to text furiously, one had suddenly been taken away, but they seemed to be doing fine. The tardy ones who are often seen running as the bus pulls in were today seen running with gumboots and umbrellas.
One runner was resolutely sticking to her morning routine wearing a plastic cover. Parents were inserting children into blue and yellow ponchos. Snails and earthworms had abandoned their waterlogged homes and taken to the pavements.
The grass looked greener, the way it looks in places that get much more rain than San Diego. I don’t know if the grass is actually greener in those places or if the wetness and gray skies make it appear so, but, without question, in my neighborhood this morning, the grass was greener, like it was making a real effort. (Incidentally, the Lake District gets my vote for the greenest appearing grass of all, worthy of inventing a Greenness Index for, just so it can come in first place.)
My inner dialogue in which I often examine every single failure of my life was replaced with an equally ridiculous but entirely more congenial one. “Hi you papaya tree laden with dozens of green fruit, peeping over the fence! Will your offspring turn orange and sweet come summer?” “And you lemon tree covered with fruit and blossoms, you’re very pretty.”
The gardeners were at work through the rain, planting in the flower beds. Tiny cactus, chosen for their red rims, white and purple flowers looking bedraggled even as they added color, hedges and trees chosen for the blossom that exists for three weeks out of 52, all put in by those gardeners. The winner in the color category, as it so often is, was the bright pink bougainvillea. Instead of screaming, “Look at me!” as it does when the sun is out, it was today uttering a rather more coy, “Oh won’t you spare me a glance?” Who was I to refuse?
Yup, rain makes me happy. One look at my umbrella, you’ll know.