The umbrella

—Franna, I need a Frozen umbrella.

—You do?

—My friend had a Little Mermaid one but I want a Frozen one.

—I see. Was this your friend in preschool?

—Yes. Before coronavirus.

—Well. We will have to look for a Frozen umbrella, then. To keep you safe and dry when it rains…

She picked it out. It just so happened to come with a little rain jacket.

The week before torrential rains in this long, long hurricane season, in this long, long year.

When I was about her age, my grandmother gave me a ceramic ornament—two children in yellow rain slickers and galoshes hunkered under a big gray umbrella. If I held the base and twisted the top, it played a tune… I knew the lyrics, and sang…

Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head
But that doesn’t mean my eyes will soon be turning red
Crying’s not for me
‘Cause I’m never gonna stop the rain by complaining
Because I’m free
Nothing’s worrying me

And so the seasons turn, turn, turn, many times over, and here she stands in the autumn of this dreary year, excited for the rain, making her own special brand of magic under a celestial, bright-aqua canopy of love, wonder, and song… I once read that the umbrella is a symbol for power and dignity.

I would say yes, and in this case, absolute joy.

In which I bask.

My heart sings on.

18 thoughts on “The umbrella

    • So glad you enjoyed, Clare – I hadn’t thought of that song in years. Hadn’t planned to write of it at all. I just came back with the sudden memory of the musical ornament my grandmother gave me. Writing is such a wonder this way.

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  1. A bright spot, indeed! To find joy in the rain is a necessary skill for survival, I think. And now I have an earworm with an accompanying vision of B.J. Thomas’ voice playing on a 70s AFN radio station as my mother cooks in a brightly lit kitchen in our Italian home. Thanks for that smile today.

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    • I am so delighted the lyrics brought that warm memory back, Chris. I loved B.J. Thomas and remember hovering over my round pink radio (the ones that look lie they have silver eyes), waiting for “Don’t Worry, Baby” to come on. Didn’t know until my youngest son (Cadillac Man, the musician, diehard Beach Boys fan) told me that Brian Wilson wrote it before I was born.

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  2. This made me smile. It also made me think of a pink and purple raincoat I had when I was in 1st grade. I looked for awhile for an umbrella that would match my stylish plastic raincoat. I remember I had to settle for a purple one. Thank you for the smile today.

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  3. Beautiful in every way…..every word! And that gorgeous girl! I love the connection to you own grandma and the umbrella. You are such a shining light and I love everything you write.

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  4. First of all? That SMILE. That smile says EVERYTHING. And the phrase “making her own special brand of magic under a celestial, bright-aqua canopy of love, wonder, and song…” I will continue to hold that phrase by the handle and twirl happily under it.

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