|*Image from National Geographic here|
There was an exhibit opening at our museum this past Friday evening that happened to also coincide with the beginning of the Art in Public Places "Shock Art" opening, in which the public is invited to come and see local artists' ideas for painting the switchgear boxes around town. [Side note: If you are a local, please do take the time to stop by the museum at 400 Quail Road - next to the Rec Center - and vote for your favorites. They will be on display until noon on June 11.] After a long day of running around, I wasn't entirely certain Sam would want to ride, but when I inquired, he seemed ready and willing, so we proceeded as planned. The weather had been much as described above, but I had no idea the torrential downpour that would begin as we arrived at the museum.
It started with a rumble and I asked, "Is that thunder?" It was difficult to make out the sound as there were many people wandering through the museum and I just wasn't sure what I was hearing. As we meandered by the floor to ceiling glass to the courtyard, we could see tremendous amounts of rain gushing from the rooftop. "Wow!" I said. "What is going on?" I really was perplexed, although I should not have been. I should know to check the weather a little more carefully, but we watched for several minutes as the downpour continued. The drops were absolutely massive and after our flooding at the end of last summer, I think many locals have a small amount of panic when that much liquid begins to come out of the sky.
Normally, if I'm anticipating this sort of weather, I have the appropriate gear to get where I need to without becoming soaked through; however, this was not one of those days. Cotton summer dress and light wool sweater was all that I had on me. Sam was no better and was lacking the extra layer of the sweater I had at least managed to grab on the way out the door. We waited until things had lightened a bit and decided that we didn't want to take the chance it would get even worse, so we headed out. Standing under the cover of the front entrance, we stared at our soaked bicycles. "Well, we are getting wet whether we like it or not, so we might as well just go," was the only thing I could think to say. A few departing individuals wished us luck as we made our break for it. All we could do was wave and laugh at our ill-preparedness. Thankfully (at least if we go the more direct route we took home), we don't live far from the museum.
What caught my attention specifically about this ride was that I was grinning ear-to-ear the entire ride home. I couldn't help myself. First, I found it amusing that the short time we'd ventured out had brought such an extreme shift in the weather; but beyond that, I was actually enjoying myself. I love splashing in puddles and getting to feel the water pouring down - whether walking or riding. When I looked ahead at Sam, I could see he was absolutely miserable. He was upset with a vehicle that had splashed him as they drove by, and I knew that all he wanted was to be home. At one point, I had to stop to wait for traffic to clear because there was a closed portion of the path that I couldn't get by without entering the main motorized traffic area. By the time I caught up to Sam, I knew he wasn't happy. I know that I have fenders on my bike (and he does not) which helps keep the splash of water beneath away from my body, but I honestly wouldn't have cared either way. It was simply comical and fun to be "stuck" in this rain. I did feel badly though that he wasn't enjoying it as much as I was at this point. Ultimately though, I understand it just really isn't his sort of weather.
Slowly, we are arriving at more typical weather (meaning sunshine until some point in the afternoon, and then a quick downpour of rain), but I'm finding myself wanting to actually go for a ride as the storming begins, and I can't help but wonder what is wrong with me? I suppose I am simply wanting to enjoy something that I know will be a rarity in the coming weeks and months, and in part, it feels like I'm getting to relive a bit of childhood - splashing and playing - for a small snippet of time.