My flight to Virginia was canceled on a Friday night. No explanation. Just a small email.
And then a thunderstorm rolled through New York and I found myself zigzagging through the streets of SoHo, absolutely drenched, ducking every time the sky lit up, and laughing all the while (totally relieved I wasn't in a small plane moving through those clouds).
The funny thing about a really big storm in a place like New York is that suddenly people actually look at each other. And smile. It's amazing--nothing like shared experience to bring people together.
I am a person who laughs in the rain. Which I'd sort of forgotten. But hell if Friday night didn't remind me. You see, I've been mired lately in a bit of not-good-enough, not-smart-enough, not-going-anywhere muck and it was good to be reminded that yes, in fact, I like to get a little wet. I like the zigzag and the adventure and the inconvenience of a good rain storm.
I often think of Dr. Maya Angelou's very good and very simple words: I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.
Well this weekend, holed up in the mountains of central Virginia, I thought of something I'd like to add to that list: what a person does with a costume closet.
Because, for myself, I'll take the people who dress up--who dress up with flare and gusto and absolute abandon. The people who ask no questions, who turn on their heels and ascend two flights of steps, and piece together a costume with a nod to the absurd.
Life is short. But one of the great blessings of this very short life is that we have the ability to choose the people we sit around a dinner table with. And I couldn't be more grateful that the people I know are willing to sit around said table, after a very long (very hot) day, wearing ridiculous hats and dresses and Civil War jackets.
There are things to be learned from thunderstorms. Things to be learned from missed flights and day-late- drives in oversized pick-up trucks. From mountain views and frigid swimming pools.
And from costume closets. Where the best of us is hidden, and then found.