Monday, October 26, 2009
I was invited to be part of the local high school homecoming parade last week by driving my convertible with a King as my passenger. This was a new adventure for me, and since I love to do new things, I gladly accepted the invitation.
Unfortunately, about an hour or so before the parade was scheduled to start, it began to rain. When I arrived at the high school parking lot, I sat warm and dry in my car (with the top up), waiting for my passenger and instructions on where I line up. What I witnessed in that hour long wait was truly a gift. In spite of the cold October rain that was destroying the previously crafted and decorated floats, the students representing ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades joked, laughed and danced as they were pummeled by Mother Nature.
I couldn't help but think that their joy in this event could not be dampened. I did not see a single scowling face or act of anger regarding the inclement weather that dared to affect the night's activities. These kids were totally unaffected by the rain, almost as if it was invisible.
At five o'clock sharp the cars, floats and Fire truck took off in the assigned line up. My passenger, the Freshman King, and I, coasted along, throwing candy from our windows to the delighted children along the curb. As we moved along the route I was surprised to see an even bigger turnout of well wishers and parade watchers lining Main Street.
It almost seemed like the rain added to the fun. The students were all drenched. The paper decorations were falling off and paint was running down the sides of the signs. Parade watchers huddled under umbrellas and hooded jackets. I'm sure the weather made it uncomfortable, but the town spirit for the event was not dampened.
As I glided up Main Street, waving to the crowd, I thought about how happy I was to live in a town that cared more about community, connection and good fun than about how something appeared to be.
It appeared to be raining, but according to the students and the parade watchers, it was a delightful, balmy, October evening.