Go With the Flow

It’s a matter of fact in any city: Weather is first and foremost an inconvenience, whether it’s hot, cold, rain, snow or wind. Urbanites need to get to the office, and dress according to company rules, – which is rarely compatible with such things as a heavy rainfall.

Like the other day, when rain and wind combined forces and made sure that it was not only pouring down, but also pouring sideways and even upwards, as the rain hit the streets so hard that the drops bounced back up, sloshing peoples’ shoes.

Those are the days when the streets transform into a gigantic, urban steeplechase. People crouch under umbrellas and papers, run for cover, jump puddles, and dodge the gushes from passing cars. Not a small challenge either, considering the business outfits.

But the outcome is given, of course. Almost nothing can throw New York City off its feet, but there’s no stopping the weather. And so, Wind and Rain ravage with great enthusiasm all the dry-cleaned clothes, nice hairdos and crispy documents that fill the streets.

But those are also the days when some of us get in an improperly good mood whenever the weather is playing hardball. – Maybe we don’t have any crucial meetings or even any Time to mind. Maybe we enjoy the small scale anarchist feeling of disregarding one of the unwritten laws of city life: “Thou shall not get wet.”

Like golden retrievers we eager for a walk, do a little happy dance around puddles and umbrellas, tail wagging, eyes bright, spirit brisk, perky and devil-may-care from inviting the weather to take its best shot at us.

Behavior like that might necessarily draw some attention. Pale faces peek out from under umbrellas and behind windows. One man arrives from the other end of the street, battling his way through the rain by holding his umbrella horizontally out from his body to make a shield. It may be that this maneuver saves a small part of his front shirt from getting drenched, but even that is highly doubtful. The moment of truth is dawning on him: He looks up and sees our soaked-through and utterly content appearance. Next, he looks down on his umbrella and closes it. We exchange a smile as we pass. After all – if you can’t fight it, why not just go with it?

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