Weather can be a wondrous, transformative thing and it doesn't take much to feel the full impact that Mother Nature packed for you both fully and emotionally. All you have to do is let it wash over you, especially on days like today.
It's a gray rainy today. Gray rainy. That sounds like the hero detective of a pulp novel and that seems appropriate because days like this bring both mystery and intrigue.
Most days the weather is just there, like your furniture or favorite coffee mug. It doesn't require much attention or much conversation about it. It just is.
But when a Summer rain makes its Olivier-quality entrance, sweeping off the Hudson, over the concrete shoulders of the Manhattan skyline it is so in the moment dramatic that I can easily imagine the words "Surrender Dorothy" suddenly being spelled out in the sky.
There is something mythic about it all. It is a command performance of the highest order and every single New Yorker gets house seats to watch it.
But as grand and dominating as it all is, at the same time it feels surprisingly intimate as if the weather itself is whispering to me the words: "I am here. You are safe. And I am here for you."
And just like that I'm five years old once upon a time David of Hollis, Queens again, who found virtually every single thing that life had to offer almost staggeringly fascinating.
I was so voracious and wildly curious then. It was as if my job title was Head of All Things Amazing and Irresistible. It did not take much to find things that were part of my job description. Every single second seemed to have a "wow" or "Oh My God" attached to it.
The journey back to that moment in time has been brought to me by the wonderful folks in heaven who bring us both rain and snow. In the case of rain, all that it wants from you is both your attention and, well, thunderous applause because after all that is precisely what it gives to you.
The sounds of a wet New York City are symphonic.
Taxis smash-slushing their way through puddles sound like distant ocean waves. Window panes sound like bacon sizzle. Umbrellas snap to attention. Collars are thrown up in almost syncopated precision, as if they were a million tiny flags raised patriotically on our own, personal Iwo Jima mountain top.
The soundtrack portion of the program tends to beckon Messrs. Beethoven, Mozart and most of all Chopin whose every Rubinstein, Horowitz or even Gould hand delivered sonata note arrives at the shores of my ears like a precise raindrop landing purposefully on a sheet of music,
The feeling I get is that Chopin especially understood the rain the way lovers understand each other and the way new parents feel about their newborn babies. It makes his weather reporting far more compelling and accurate that even Mr. G.
The rain is our invisible friend that exists not only to replenish and cleanse, but to remind us that the loneliness that we feel and suffer from is only an illusion.
No one in New York is ever alone. Virtually any native that you pass is both trained and prepared to guide you to wherever it is that you need to go. We are all quite like passionate and proud of our grand amusement park and can't wait to tell you which ride to go on and which one to avoid.
We are all card carrying members of the Society of New York Welcomers and it is our natural obligation to help and to serve.
And in many ways that is how I feel about the rain of summer. Whether you ware wandering through the Emerald City of a misty Central Park or trying to navigate your way through the tourist throngs in Times Square, the rain will be there to comfort you like the literal Bridge over Troubled Waters that it is.
We desperately need our rituals, just as much as we need our passions, our sense of purpose, our loyalty, our inner vibrancy and our innate and commanding sense to do the right thing.
In other words, we need to be as right as rain.
So when you go out today, don't get upset that the sun has turned it's back on you. . Don't try to duck and cover.
Indulge in it's pleasures. Be refreshed by the downpour of affection.
And most of all listen to the message that hit has for you.
It will guide you, just like we New Yorkers will, to the one place where we really want to be.