Monday, March 22, 2010

Umbrella for (more than) the sun

It hasn't been raining, but my mom gave me a new umbrella because she thought my old one made me look pitiful--the handle was gone and the cloth was sewn (and re-sewn) on the frame. The red color was fading at the folds too.

I found it a bit amusing to get a new umbrella at the height of summer--an El Nino summer, to boot--but I wasn't surprised because, here, the umbrella is used as much on sunny days as on rainy days. I'm not very fond of using my umbrella in the sun because sometimes it's such a hassle to open it up and then fold it back again, but there is wisdom in using that parasol (beyond preventing skin woes, I mean).

My last great commuting adventure was when our car wouldn't start and I had to pick up two things for work. I found myself thrown into a commuting route I hadn't yet thought about; I usually asked somebody (like my dad or a friend who commutes) for the best and easiest route to take, but that day left me no time for a pep talk. No matter; I had (I hoped) my wits, and my new umbrella.

What was so important about the umbrella, you ask? Well, I expected to walk a lot that day (and I did); I needed the umbrella to keep me as un-melted as possible as I tried to make it alive at each stop. Thirty-nine degrees out and three destinations (photographer's house for photos, boss's house for the page-guide, and the office for the day's work)...without an umbrella, you can't expect to still be on your feet after a walkathon!

In this way, an umbrella plays a part when it comes to looking presentable when on the move. Sure, you can always say you can't help looking like a train wreck when the wind blows your hair out of place; or when the sun is so hot it pastes every last strand of hair on your head flat on your scalp, face and neck. But it doesn't have to be that way. There's still the end of the road to think about, and the success of the trip is not merely getting there alive, but getting there looking alive, too. What a pity to make it to your destination only to be sent to a corner because you don't look up to the task!

Hence, not only on planned treks, but also in every crazy turn of events this wonderful world decides to rain on you, it's important to look ahead to be able to master the art of adjusting to bizarre situations accordingly. Prudence and resilience go hand in hand in times like these--and more than just being "a trooper," a person can come out of misadventures with genuine cheerfulness, and still alert enough to take on some more.

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