It rained. And I mean some rain. Noah, yes, the biblical dude, would be able to relate to this. College graduation. Scheduled to be an outdoor ceremony in a beautiful garden on a warm, sunny, early May day in the deep South. It was more like November in the Northeast!
Four years of anticipation for a thousand graduates and their families. Visions of the sun and birds chirping. Dashed! The weather forecast had been kinda iffy. For several days they had been predicting a chance of rain, possible showers, isolated thunderstorms. All the things they predict all the time, most often with the outcome an outbreak of sunshine and warm breezes. Almost Paradise!
But ya never know, so there was a back-up plan. In case of rain, we move it all indoors. Simple. Cool. No worries. Except for one. Or two. If it moves indoors, many of the traditions would be lost. There is an archway in the garden through which the new graduates walk to mark their transition. The arch can’t be moved indoors. And, and how this one is so, so imperfect, there woud be an element of human decsion making. Under less than optimal conditons.
Should it be raining, or threatening, a decision would be made at four AM as to which way the ceremony would proceed. I don’t know who makes the decision. In this case, it was someone who had no good choices. Four AM. I know I’m always wide awake thinking most clearly then. The ceremony was scheduled for nine AM, so an early, early morning decision was necessary. Oh great weather predictors, what is your forecast?
Chance of rain. Beginning after noon. That’s it. We go with the outdoor ceremony. I think the weather predictors were in a different time zone. It was raining when I got up at six AM, and never stopped. We were all outside in the rain. Lots of umbrellas. Wet shoes. Wet clothes. Lot’s of grumbling.
The ceremony was cut short. Short parade. No long speeches. No speeches at all except from the master of ceremonies saying how we were all showing great flexibility and an ability to adapt! Interesting thing though. The kids all marched through the arch. And each name was read aloud. And there was no dampened enthusiasm. All else might have been soaked, but in the end, spirits soared.
It was, after all, a great day. A day marking achievement, hard work, dedication. A day filled with pride and happiness. And a testament to the human ability to weather all storms. It’s certainly a day no one will ever forget. And I wouldn’t have moved it indoors for anything!
That’s part of my story. What’s yours? www.personalhistorywriter.com