26 May 2016

The nicest walk yet

Today was a very beautiful day, because we got hailed on. When I checked the weather forecast in the morning, it said that we should expect rain later in the afternoon, so my sweetheart and I went for an early walk. On our way, the dark clouds started to form overhead. Soon we passed a woman with a bloodhound, and she winked and said, “Oh, you’re smart; you brought an umbrella!” And I laughed and answered, “Well thanks for seeing it as smart; I’m really just pessimistic.” Then we kept walking, and after a few more minutes we felt a raindrop, so we opened our umbrella; then instantly the whole sky began heaping down ice pellets, which is to say: hail about the size of clear white jellybeans. This was distressing, because there was neither shelter nearby nor any way to know if the weather would worsen; it was suddenly freezing cold, and the wind forced our umbrella inside-out just like you see happen in animated cartoons (I’m not exaggerating). Our clothes were instantly drenched. And my sweetheart kept saying, “Ow! It’s stinging my legs!” because she was wearing capris, which are a type of calf-length trousers.

Even while it was occurring, this disaster thrilled me. Until now, I’ve only experienced hailstorms from within the safety of a house. I’ve looked out the window in awe and watched the poor local wildlife fend for itself, and I’ve wondered what it must feel like to be at the mercy of the sky. Now I know: it is pure delight. Like rapid, automatic poetry… second only to language itself.

But part of the reason I’m able to praise the experience is that I survived it. That’s why I’ve chosen to thank my stars instead of becoming a tornado chaser. I just hope I didn’t use up all my good luck on this one farce.

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