Saturday, May 12, 2007

Raindrops keep fallin' on my head...

There is something about me that, until this very moment, I think only Dave has known:

I detest carrying an umbrella.

Seriously. The threat of rain is not threat enough to warrant schlepping one around. This is coming from a woman who bought a full-body rain suit, just in the effort of being able to keep my hands parapluie-free when the storm rolls. Besides, I can let a song be my umbrella as I go along my way, right? Of course right!

Okay, okay...maybe detest is too strong of a word. But I really don't like carrying umbrellas.

But maybe this is going to change.

This morning, I took Rem for his morning walk. Half-way through, out of no where, it started to pour. We both got soaked. Cold and wet, twenty soggy minutes later, I came through the door to my loving husband.

"You didn't have an umbrella, did you, Lynn?"

No. Of course not. Because I don't like carrying umbrellas.

You see, there's something real about facing the weather. Facing what's there. The rain falls on my face and it's a choice to feel. (I get wet, therefore I am...? Something like that.) And have you ever noticed that throughout literature and tv shows and movies that rain usually accompanies some part of the drama that signals change? Either physical or emotional, the main protagonist is always about to come up against something when raindrops hit the pavement.

And certainly, I would like to think that I'm the leading lady in my own movie who faces the unknown head on. Faces it - naturally - sans umbrella.

But this morning, before getting dumped on, Rem and I ran into my good friend Fiona, who was on her way to the gym. She told me right away that she had just read the blog entry about Rem's health the night before, and that she had cried for him. She and her husband had grieved for our little Love Machine. He is near and dear to them as well.

Amazing. In less than twenty seconds, she spoke right into a part of my heart that wanted consolation.

And just as quickly as the upcoming rain was about to hit, it was only a matter of seconds before I was in tears. And I instantaneously received a dumpload of love and comfort from my friend.

Deep sigh...Yes, these last few days have been sad ones for the occupants of Helen van Herengracht. Our cherised companion and friend Rembrandt is dying. Soon, there's going to be a Remmie-sized hole that can't be filled. We know this.

A few wet hugs later, Fiona and I parted ways. Rem and I kept walking. T-minus five minutes until the rains would come.

As we were walking, I was thinking about how relieving it was to share grief with a friend. To know and be known. To feel - even momentarily - protected from hurt by a friend's understanding. What a gift. I was so grateful to have been able to share just how much love I and Dave have for our little fella. To feel safe enough to express it fully.

An hour later, I was at home, getting ready to make the weekly pilgrimage to Noordemarkt, the Saturday morning organic market. True to form in Amsterdam, the rain had turned sunny on a dime just moments after I got home with Remmie. (Classic.) I was grabbing my keys and my purse and thought...oddly enough...maybe I should bring that umbrella this time.

Out I went again. This time, with umbrella in tow. And sure enough, ten minutes into my journey, a massive bucket dump.

I opened the thing up.

And as everything around me was chaos, I walked untouched in my bubble of protection. And it was nice staying dry.

Maybe umbrellas aren't so bad after all.

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