When there’s a huge sudden downpour, inevitably people will try to wait it out. They’ll stand under awnings, or inside stores, waiting till the rain lets up. I always find this silly. I have places to be, and timelines to keep, and even if I don’t have either of those things, I also don’t have the patience to stand there doing nothing until the atmosphere becomes a little less wet.
Sometimes I regret it. When I arrive to that place and I’m completely soaked, I wish I could have just held out for 5 minutes until the storm dissipated.
So yesterday, as I emerged from the subway and saw the storm, and saw many people standing there waiting, I decided to wait, too. I didn’t have anywhere in particular to be, and it looked really miserable outside, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to wait and see if the rain would lessen in a few minutes.
It did, eventually, and I ventured out once the steady downpour became more of a persistent sprinkle. And then 3 minutes later, the clouds opened up again and it was raining just as hard as it had been earlier.
If I would have waited 5 more minutes, I could have missed the storm entirely. But how could I have known? In 5 minutes, the rain could have come down even harder and then I’d be stuck for even longer.
That’s the thing about storms and pretty much everything else–there’s no way to know. You choose to either spend your time waiting for the moment when the rain slows down, or you push headlong into it. You make your choice and you deal with the consequences. You’re late, or you’re soaked.
Maybe it seems smarter to wait, but if you always wait for the rain to end, you’ll never see a rainbow.