After dinner, a group of us decided to walk down to the National Mall to view the monuments without the oppressing heat we had experienced earlier in the day. After a high spirited 45 minute walk, we found ourselves on the opposite side of the lake from The Washington Monument. The lights reflecting on the lake from the beautiful obelisk, and the choppy clouds overhead were picture perfect. I pulled out my camera to snap a shot and managed only to capture a blurry ghostly image. I knelt down to use my knee as a makeshift tripod, and as I steadied my hands for the shot when a tidal wave of wind knocked me forward into the grass. I squinted over my shoulder into the wind and my heart skipped a beat, I could see a sheet of water headed our way.
I hurriedly lined up my shot, knowing I only had moments before the rain hit, but before I could take the photo I was soaked to the core. I have never experienced rain like this before! I sputtered trying to keep the rain out of my mouth while stuffing my camera into my backpack. I synched the drawstring and hugged my backpack to my chest in a vain attempt to keep it dry.
I looked around at the group I was with and saw my husband doing his best impression of a scarecrow. His arms stuck straight out and his head was tilted forward, his normally curly hair clumped together, acting as conduits for the streams of water pouring down his face. His ridiculous pose made me burst out laughing.
My burst of laughter brought him out of his shocked state, and we ducked under a tree, thinking it would offer some form of protection, and my husband fumbled, trying to order us an Uber home. Rain pounded from every direction, every time he tried to select an option on his phone, a glob of water would form somewhere else on his screen making it impossible for him to make any headway.
Flashes of lightning burst overhead, lighting up the sky in alternating green and purple flashes. With no cover in sight, we backtracked along the route we had just taken in hopes of finding a hotel or restaurant that would let us use a phone. As the storm mounted its forces adding wind and ear-shattering thunder to its arsenal, we took cover under a building’s overhang.
After a few moments to collect my thoughts, and wipe away some of the dead leaves plastered to my face. I reached into my bag to see if I could I call us a ride. I was delighted to find that my brand new backpack was bone dry on the inside. I ordered an Uber and warned them we were drenched and ducked under the overhang of a building. When he arrived, we all ran as fast as we could towards his vehicle. I fell behind the pack, my maxi skirt had become an awkward tangled mass between my legs, and my waddling run couldn’t match the pace of my long-legged companions. We rode back to our hotel in silence, relieved to have a safe ride home, and exhausted from fighting the onslaught of the storm.