It wasn’t a deluge. I didn’t try to catch it in a paper cup. It was necessary.
I keep a huge Kohl’s plastic bag in my work tote for occasions like this. When the weatherman gets it wrong. I carry a ball cap, too, even with the lack of thick hair to keep it on when the wind picks up. I really don’t care if my head gets wet, but I’ve noticed that hair actually does a pretty good job of keeping the water from running down your face. So, capping it is.
I’m sure I look a looney in my get up. I wear my go-to bonnet underneath my raincoat hood. My pea-head doesn’t hold up to the assumption that if you wear a larger size, your head must be larger-than-normal, too. Here’s the descript: Without the head help, looking straight ahead, I can only see from my nose down.
The sleeves are also about 2 inches too long. Helpfully, they keep at least one hand from cold-water pruning. The other one hoists my baggage. I likely drag along too much stuff for my two-days-per-week journey.
In my defense, I might want or need: phone charger, ear phones, sanitizer, chap stick, face powder that I could probably leave home since I have not used it in over a year. Also, coupons, reference paperwork, tissues, plastic bags, ball cap and a handkerchief. Paperclips, two pens, in case one does not work. Plus, the regular house keys, office keys, lunch box, water bottle, phone and masks. Yes, plural.
Anyway, yesterday. On my way out of my windowless work space, I hadn’t assessed the situation. Which led to having to assemble myself in the see-through vestibule. Bright pink, nylon-raincoat flap engaged, faded bluish bill sticking out, primed me for the silly-looking 5-minute trek home began.
That’s when I started thinking.
When was the last time I walked in the rain on-purpose? I knew it might rain today. Walking was a risk; a logic-balanced choice, though. Michigan Construction Season is in full-swing. It would take me 15-20 minutes to drive the alternate ‘detour’ route.
Two years ago, I regularly walked in the evening and on weekends. Walked the long way to work, 4-5 times a week. Checking my photos, it looks like my last deliberate rain-tread was a weekend morning. May 2019. Based on my shots, I’m sure it wasn’t a hard rain. Not likely was a drizzle, either. I remember making the choice to go.
I took a lot of rain-brightened pictures of flowers and leaves. Overcast skies and water make nature’s colors pop. I enjoyed the way the misty air kissed my skin.
Maybe it’s time to stop the basement cycle. I don’t take any photos down there on my perpetually-circular treadmill trips.
I’m kinda wishing for a wet morning this weekend. Just so I can conquer the walk, for the first time this year.
And ramble some. And take some cheery rain-soaked photos.
A plan for reviving and renewing and recommitting.
But, Sunday was a sunny day; way more interesting and way more convenient.
As usual, half the battle was getting ready to go out in the cold.
How cold is cold? How warm will I get? Light gloves? Heavy gloves?
Scarf? Hat? Leggings under jeans? Sweatshirt, sweater, long-sleeved tee?
Over-thinking is my specialty. I was still tying my footwear of choice when my fellow adventurer arrived.
It’s always easier with two. Especially, when easily distracted by catch-up tales of Christmases. Hunting for fairy houses beneath the tropical foliage, discussing and longing for ways to economically and realistically grow tropicals here in Michigan.
It’s funny how quickly you can identify and obliterate your own ignorance. I’ve never wandered through a desert. The closest I’ve come might have been the short succulent aisle at a local garden shop. Or, maybe it was that time I asked someone to pull over so I could get a little closer to a real-live, dead armadillo in Plano, Texas. The green giants there were distant enough, but at least they were alive. I think.
Anyway, the point is, the cacti were stunning. In case you didn’t know, they’re not all green. They’re not all upstanding or towering, either. They’re gorgeous little symmetrical growths and odd-shaped tubular spikes. Subtly variegated, boldly striped or pin-painted with impeccably placed galaxies of dots.
Outside, crisp coldness was a welcome antidote to layered heat-retention. This had been my draw all along. A self-challenge to stop daydreaming about snow photography, and just do it. Stationary and kinetic sculptures, lightly dusted with snow, stood out and peeked out along dirt rows and paved paths. Photo-happy me, scuffled along discovering treasures. Which, is how it came about that we logged 3.5 miles. Slightly over our virtual 5K goal, but a sadly short 22 active minutes.
Lamenting that, I stalled. Standing there in my steel-toes, still caked with the mud of Katrina, this thought crossed my mind: Those were note-worthy years. Some years just aren’t. Obligations, expenses, losses get in the way. In times like these, self-focused isn’t necessarily a negative way to go.
Since its the end of the year, I’ll accept the insignificance and aspire elevation. The good news is the new one begins today. The better news is, new days are plentiful; each with new opportunities for future note-worthiness.