A crazy thunderstorm tore through Burlington last night. It only lasted about 10-15 minutes, but it dropped so much water in that time that many of Burlington's streets were flooded.
I was sitting in my car in a parking lot for the majority of the storm, waiting it out. I had been driving, but within about 30 seconds, that became an activity for only the bravest of souls. Once the raining had stopped, I pulled out of my spot and headed downtown to pick up Navah from the office. I had to detour twice because of flooding, and the second time, I witnessed this:
Later, we saw it happening on other streets and sat in a line of cars as we took turns leaning our heads and our iphones out the window to get a shot, like tourists in Yellowstone Park who just caught sight of a moose.
Navah was horrified that these kids were wading in bare feet, with all the muck from the streets - she listed off what was probably floating in the water - swirling around them. I admit that it did sound gross, but I just couldn't bring myself to fault them for it.
In fact, I admired them.
It was so quientessentially college - the snowball effect of one person's crazy idea traveling through people like a game of telephone and then suddenly everyone's out in the street in their bathing suits, floating on air mattresses and laughing like it's the biggest party of the summer.
And that's the best part of those younger years. Maybe we did stupid things, but we had a lot of fun. We were open to so much - to letting the world tell us what it had in store, to listening to the crazy ideas of our neighbors, to doing things just because they seemed awesome in that moment.
We can't live that way all the time, but perhaps we can carry a little of it with us always? I've gotten to be a pretty intense planner - rains and floods and changing circumstances are only things that get in my way. They stop me from doing what I had lined up for that day. On occasion, I've been known to turn down fun last minute plans because "It's too late for me to change my idea of what I'm doing tonight."
I'd like to learn a little from the college kids, from their adaptability and spiritedness. I'd like to get my feet wet sometimes. And maybe even a little dirty.