It rained today... and yesterday--and the day before. And each time, it seemed to fall right out of nowhere. Today, though, I actually made it to my destination before the rain decided to trap me.
I don't mind being trapped in the rain. In fact, I actually find it quite pleasant. What's more, I don't mind walking through it if it catches me unawares--which reminds me of a small occurrence...
Once in college, my senior year, I was chosen to represent my department--on senior day, obviously--and to give a speech about my matriculation and experience at the institution.
Early that morning, I got up, showered and got dressed. And gee, did I get dressed...
I donned a very well-fitting, black dress, with long, flowing, sheer pants underneath. And to be honest, it actually looked like it could be the bottom half of the little dress I was wearing.
I had grown accustomed to wearing my hair in a bun, but that day I wore my hair down; it slithered past my shoulders and came to rest at the small of my back. I draped a set of pearls about my neck. And, I did something I hardly ever do--I wore high-heels. I mean, I wore a dangerously steep pair of black, high-heels. And, I also put on lipstick.
It was a flattering hue of deep blood-red--which complimented my lips and clothing quite well. I don't wear lipstick--I don't wear makeup; so, imagine my speechless surprise when looking into the mirror and finding everything perfectly in order.
I felt great. I felt confident. With typed speech in hand, I exited the dorm building and made my way across campus to the senior venue.
After listening to a few speeches, it was my turn to get on stage. I stood at the podium and accepted the audible musings of faculty, professors, and peers, who were positively surprised at my tastefully bold attire.
The clothing was one thing, for when I opened my mouth to speak, I gave them quite another show. I produced wit, humor, modesty, gratitude, tasteful cynicism-----In short, everyone in that crowd enjoyed some part of my speech. And, I enjoyed their laughs, their smiles, their nods of agreement, and in some cases their tears--when remembering.
To cut to the chase, I received a number of compliments for my speech and my delivery. And afterwards, I exited the building with my head held high and with my high-heels and speech in hand. The sky was bright, and filled with the sun, mind you. So imagine my utter helplessness when the entire bottom fell out of the sky and immersed me in cold, April rain.
At first, I thought to run--because my destination (the dormitory) was afar off. I was a long way from any shelter,and, I had no umbrella. The thought to run quickly passed.
I placed my speech inside one of my heels, whose straps I held firmly in my hand, and found myself slowly walking, being pelted indiscriminately with rather large drops of heavy rain.
It was interesting enough that my lipstick didn't wash away.
Either way, every so often, I'd raise a hand and wipe a stream of water away from my eyes.
I felt alive--I felt free. I was sopping wet---my soaked clothing clung to my body; my hair hung in bone-straight rivulets about my neck, shoulders, and back; but, I didn't care.
I remember drawing nigh unto the steps of the dormitory; I looked up and saw all the astonished faces looking down at me... I remember the whispers; the gasps. And once I reached the door, I remember someone saying very clearly to a friend, "How graceful---I know she's soaking wet, but she's so graceful. She didn't try to run when she got caught in the rain--She just accepted it and walked through. That's so beautiful."
I felt taken aback by this compliment--at least, I considered it to be one... And, I pretended not to hear. But inside, I danced.
So, it rained today... and yesterday--and the day before. And whenever there's heavy rain, seemingly out of the blue, I find myself thinking of that particular time... A time when I let go and connected with something deeper; something real; something bold and free.