This morning when Philippe and I woke up, instead of the spring rain that had been predicted, the house was suddenly freezing and it was snowing outside. Somewhere overnight, the weather changed its mind sharply and decided to do something else entirely. I really can’t fault it since I tend to do this all of the time. We are still without a car, but were going to go to lunch with my mom and sister who are in town so the weather wasn’t a concern. Until I got a text from my sister shifting those plans to tomorrow instead. The snow shifted back to rain and we were left with another problem-solving exercise of how we were going to get to lunch without getting soaked. We broke down and just took an Uber to get there and our driver was a recent transplant from South Florida. Though she’ll be fine when the summer humidity arrives, she was still a bit shocked by a spring snow. After taking a leisurely lunch to wait for the rain to stop, we set out to catch a bus home, jumping off to get some flour on the way for pancakes tomorrow morning. After finding CVS out of flour we walked to Walgreens, which is always magically a block or so away and got the last bag they had. Our walk was entirely in the city, not a nature hike by any stretch, but it ended up having some good moments along the way.
As we were walking to Walgreens, we encountered a disheveled gentlemen who was shadow boxing his own reflection in the window of an abandoned store. As we walked past, he turned to us sharply and we flinched as though he might start boxing us, but instead, he just shrugged and lit a cigarette. As we were walked back with our prized bag flour, he was in the same spot, only this time he actually looked at us and said, “the weather is crazy today.” To that, I simply replied, “it sure is!” In my head as I passed the first time, I was only thinking that he was crazy, but on the second pass, we found we had something we could agree upon. Perhaps he was still crazy, but in that moment, there was a bit of a connection. As we ventured on to the bus stop, the only other person there was a woman holding a pizza box, continually stepping to the curb to see if the bus was in view while standing under the digital sign that tells you just how long you have to wait. She seemed agitated, didn’t seem to notice us, and barely looked in our direction. But then, the sun broke through the thick clouds for a moment and the cold air was immediately replaced with the warmer air of spring. We all three looked into the sky at the same time and said, “ahhhhhhhhh!” And then looked at each other and started laughing. The woman’s demeanor changed and she smiled saying, “it snowed this morning! The weather is crazy today!”
I smiled and laughed and said the same thing I’d just said moments ago, “It sure is!” And she smiled back, a bit less agitated and just a touch happier. This was my hike today, and though it didn’t involve any nature, it was a walk through a concrete jungle of personalities. I had nothing in common with any of them save the unique events of this special day. The day the weather was crazy. So, even though it managed to snow in spring and we had a very chilly and windy walk through the city, we made connections with everyone we met along the way. Even struggling to get everything we needed done without a car and with the weather refusing to cooperate, everything was beautiful. It’s very affirming to know that at the end of any day we’re all just people trying to get through it. So, no matter how different we are, we always have something in common. And every bit of stress I was feeling about the lack of car, or anything else, faded to the background. I smiled and nearly skipped as Philippe and I got off the bus to walk back home again. It was unseasonably cold and the sun had disappeared again, but it was a truly wonderful day. That kind of day that is always within reach, when I can just remind myself to keep focusing on the flowers.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Terra Cotta, Opus (Vivid Pink), Leaf Green, Cobalt Blue, and Cobalt Turquoise. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!