Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Of Rain and Umbrellas

Finally, in the last couple of weeks, we've been getting the rain the state so desperately needs. Of course, Nature can't do anything in half measures so it seems like all the rain we've missed in the last year, showed up all at once in the course of two or three days. No matter. I love the rain. Whether gently pattering or wildly pounding, the sound of water upon roof is soothing. Before a storm, the wind is warm and blustery, the skies a deep slate grey full of liquid lullabies. And I love the freshness of post-storm air, washed clean of pollens and pollutants. Puddles delight the neighbors' children to no end and I'm amused to see them head right for the nearest pool of water regardless of their footwear, a clucking adult at their heels, trying to prevent the inevitable. (I'll admit to splashing through a few puddles myself just for fun.) In my corner of California, umbrellas are generally useless for anything but flying as the rain most often falls horizontally, driven from its otherwise downward path by fierce winds. Still, I like the symbolism of the umbrella, a shelter from storm that can go with us wherever we dare to travel. I try to carry invisible umbrellas with me when I head out into the world, small mental refuges that encircle me as protection against the surging deluge of injustice, hatred, pain, and ignorance. When I need physical protection from such horrors, I fall into the shelter of my art, wrapping myself in a rainbow of paint & paper to beat back the dark. I think maybe this blog is my way of holding out that umbrella of color and joy for others. Get under here, all of you, and let's stay warm & dry together...

8 comments:

Özge Başağaç said...

This is such a sweet post :) Good morning Michelle :)

Snap said...

Amen!

gretchen said...

yes, let's! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Fantastic post! I love the rain and I love the image of us close together under the umbrella of this great blog.
Ellie (in 55-degree-no-snow Colorado)

Jennifer Shelby said...

my umbrella is words. When the world is too much I write stories and get to live in a world of my own making until I'm strong enough to walk in the real one again.
One of my favourite words is "petrichor" a noun that means "a pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather." (google's definition). It's also one of my favourite smells. Enjoy it, and the puddles!

Loulou in Texas said...

I had never thought about the symbolism of the umbrella. I enjoyed reading your explanation, Michelle, and its significance for you. Now I think I need to start carrying an invisible umbrella with me, too.

Jenny Petricek said...

I love the concept of the invisible umbrella. My art journal serves as mine. Whenever life is getting me down, I can go there and vent and then cover it up with gesso or paint--and no one will be the wiser.

Aimeslee said...

I generally don't care for rain unless I'm inside and listening to it; outside are too many mosquitos. Here on the Third Coast, it's ever-present along with the blazing sun. I find a dome umbrella the best against rain, but having endured 8 years of girls' fast pitch softball as a parent, I often used a golf umbrella to shield against the sun. One never fit all for me. :-)

An invisible umbrella as a shield is interesting. Me, I wear sunglasses. They help me feel as though I'm invisible when I wade out into the cacophony of difference coming from all sides. Was it Ludwig Von Mises who said egalitarianism is a revolt against nature and the end of civilization? I used to scoff at that in my younger years, but not now. Sometimes it does feel that way to me. Perhaps we should all choose our shields then. xoxo

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