I left the apartment with no umbrella and just my straw hat, thinking the day might become sunny, even if it was starting off gray. I hadn't seen any weather forecasts, so I was surprised when it began to rain shortly after I got on the train. It was amazing to behold, the suddenness of it, the abundance of it. Just rain, rain, rain. I had no umbrella, but I knew the bus stop I was heading for had a shelter. When I got off the train, I sprinted for the bus stop. As I ducked under its shelter with two other people, the rain began to pelt down even harder. RAIN, RAIN, RAIN, pouring out of the sky, saturating my view of the street and Dunkin' Donuts. As a deep puddle formed before us, I and the other rain refugees tried to back away from the splashing of passing cars. It was really raining.
And then it lessened. And then it stopped. By the time the bus came, it was barely sprinkling and when I reached my destination, I was able to walk with no umbrella and stay completely dry. I remembered a childhood riddle: how do three large men walk under one small umbrella without getting wet? The answer is: it's not raining.
When I left the building an hour later, the sky was back to gray and threatening. It looked very ominous, so I decided against the bus and headed for a brown line el train. Once on the el, I could transfer to my red line train without having to leave the protection of the el station. I walked quickly, not trusting the sky to stay dry for long. Sure enough, I had just ascended the escalator to the el platform when it began again, no prelude, no build-up this time. Just another hard, driving rain, insistent and full.
This time I was amazed. That was twice I had just missed getting soaked. I felt charmed, magic, like an urban Snow White wending her way through eerily cooperative natural elements. I rode the brown line to the red line and got on a northbound train at Belmont. As the train passed Wrigley field, I saw that the stadium lights were on. Oh no, there was a game today! I could only imagine how the fans looked, getting soaked in the downpour. I could clearly see the people on the rooftops, huddled under umbrellas and awnings. How miserable! I knew they were all getting drenched in spite of their attempts to stay dry.
As my train continued north, I watched the onslaught in fascination. And then as I got closer to my neighborhood, sure enough, the rain began to let up. By the time I got off the train at my stop, once again I was able to walk with no umbrella; no problem. I thought, "Quick - I should buy a lottery ticket!" But I didn't. Staying completely dry on a stormy day with no umbrella was enough.
Sometimes life works.