Wind and Rain

I own an umbrella.

I am entirely not sure why I own one, as I rarely use it.

Umbrellas have a tendency to block the rain.

This is a quality that I deplore.

I like the rain.

I like the feeling of water, wind, and other sundry elements enveloping me in a universal embrace. I love pressure of a minor tempest trying to blow me around. I wish that it could blow around, maybe carry me away to some exciting adventure. Or, at the very least, keep me from going about a humdrum day.

Umbrellas only get in the way.

When there is a delightfully strong gust of wind, umbrellas will only turn inside out anyway.

And, in general, umbrellas are such useful, pragmatic things. Again, neither virtue do I find attractive. Such things are usually lacking in both aesthetic value and romance.

But I discovered that books are not as happy as I am about prancing about through storms than I am. Nor are they sufficiently protected in my cloth book bag.

So for the sake of my beloved books, I bought an umbrella. It is a cute umbrella. Small and compact, and printed with an almost charming design.

This is not me. But I wish that it were me.

But it stays in my car, waiting for the school days when I must dash from building to building in an effort to protect my scholarly possessions.

Instead, when it does rain, I have tradition of running out into the thick of it.

I prance about, and skip, and cavort, and dance on my tip toes. I spread my arms out and spin around. I seek out the deepest puddles and jump in them.

(In this part of Texas, the streets have been apparently designed to flood, so there are a few quite glorious mini-Danubes to provide splashing pleasure.)

My housemates have come to the point where will perk up and look at me expectantly whenever it begins to sprinkle. They scarcely even try to resist my invitation to go out and play.

Oh, the strange, wild beauty!

We have had few fun walks, meandering through rain-washed and shiny suburban streets, hugging lonely trees, remarking on the living rooms of our neighbors who forgot to draw their curtains. (Urania like to bring her umbrella, but our other housemate will usually frisk about with me through the glorious downpour.)

We usually prance around, hop in  puddles, and end by traipsing through the statue garden to visit the Goddess of Golden Thighs. She does not seem to mind the weather either.

There is an odd kind of thrill and delight to be found in stormy weather! One that is all the more wonderful when met head on, running out to embrace the awful beauty.

Like Mrs. Whatsit, Wild Nights are my Glory!

Unfortunately, it is not raining right now. I shall be content to sing with Feste! Hey, ho! The wind and rain!

When that I was and a little tiny boy,
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
A foolish thing was but a toy,
    For the rain it raineth every day.

But when I came to man’s estate,
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
’Gainst knaves and thieves men shut their gate,
    For the rain it raineth every day.

But when I came, alas! to wive,
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
By swaggering could I never thrive,
    For the rain it raineth every day.

But when I came unto my beds,
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
With toss-pots still had drunken heads,
    For the rain it raineth every day.

A great while ago the world begun,
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
But that’s all one, our play is done,
    And we’ll strive to please you every day.
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7 thoughts on “Wind and Rain

  1. I’ve always thought that the virtue of an umbrella was primarily stylish, and its use on rainy days is mainly an excuse for carrying a romantic and poetic accessory. That it prevents rain from hitting one’s head is only one possible use, and need not always be followed in order for the umbrella to be properly employed. Gene Kelly knows of what I speak.

    During my high school and undergraduate years, I was known for oft wearing hats. Hats which came off on special occasions: during prayer, at the meal table, and in the rain.

    Also, when it rains, I customarily protect my books with my coat. At any rate, huzzah for storms, wind and rain! Without these I’d lose half my poetic imagery.

    • Another thought: I was driving my cousin’s 6 year-old to Awana tonight, and for some reason we ended up talking about umbrellas. She thinks umbrellas are meant to keep birds from seeing what you have for lunch in your lunchbag, so they won’t try to steal your food. Very perceptive.

      • Ha! That is a brilliant suggestion! While I have used umbrellas as parasol, I have not yet utilized as protection from birds.

        There is a certain romance to umbrellas, particularly long ones, (preferably with either a duck-head-handle or a sword inside,) but for some reason I still like to be unencumbered before the elements. It *is* simply more poetic!

  2. Hah! I, too, love the rain, especially the wild-wind storms we get during tornado season (though I do go hide when there’s a tornado…). I have found that a good woolen cloak protects books beautifully. Wool, closely woven, sheds water. 🙂

  3. Clearly I am not familiar enough with this play. I have a CD by The New Minstrel Revue, who are a kick-butt folk band I saw at the ren faire, and they do a version of this song, but I didn’t make the Shakespeare connection at all. English major fail!

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