I’m usually not a big baby about rain – really, I’m not.
Waking early this morning to the rumble of thunder, I tried to peer out into the darkness and get some idea just how wet the world had become overnight. No lightning, which was positive. I tried to roll over and go back to sleep, but I was enjoying listening to the patter of rain against the window immediately above my head. I lay like that for another half hour and then realizing I was wide awake and probably staying that way, I gave up, crawled out of bed and wandered out to the kitchen. Still too dark to get any sense of things, I opened the outside door.
Whoooom! The dense humidity and latent heat shocked my system and immediately fogged my glasses. Only a few droplets fell from above, but I couldn’t see anything else to give me any sense whether this was a brief respite or the end of things. Dawn would arrive in about forty minutes, so I headed back indoors, figuring I’d use that time productively. I’ve a commission I needed to begin, and forty minutes later I’d made a good start on the sketch. Glancing out the window the world was beginning to brighten, but it was still very gray. Time to ride.
A few drops here and there don’t faze me one little bit. As I pedaled down the street, the rain was light but steady. Interesting, the rain was almost comforting. No wind, just the steady fall of warm water. Within a mile I was thoroughly soaked, but feeling not at all like turning back. It’s Saturday, and the vendors arrive early to set up the local Farmer’s Market. I had shopping to do and headed for the square.
It was surprising to see so much hustle and bustle so early. Normally at this time of morning, the square is very quiet with perhaps a solitary runner or walker in view. Today, folks were up and about and wandering around from stall to stall, carrying armloads of melons and corn and bread and beans.
I wheeled my bike from stall to stall, studying the produce, pondering what I might cook for dinner tonight. Stowing my purchases carefully in the front bag, I felt a change in the air. Suddenly, the wind began to pick up. Farmers grabbed and held onto the poles of their tents. Rain began in ernest, coming down in sheets. The world was immediately wet – really, really damn wet. Taking shelter under a tree next to one of the Amish stalls, I decided to wait things out for a few minutes. Clearly, Mother Nature had more rain than I did patience. So with a wave to the Amish, I mounted up and headed out.
Rain blew directly at me, a wall of water for a few more minutes. My clothes were drenched. My cycling cap was a sponge. Water poured down my face and I could taste salt as it ran across my lips. Puddles were broad lakes and I dodged them when I could, thankful – not for the first time, and certainly not for the last! – for full coverage fenders. I turned on my front light, “just in case.”
Then just as suddenly as it had begun, the world of water went slack. Once again, it was just a steady, light rain. As I said before, I’m usually not a big baby when it comes to rain. And I certainly wasn’t going to start being a baby today.