I love the annual Windsurfing Regatta. I love the atmosphere, the surfer’s sails like mayflies that skim across Lake Okabena, and the music blasting away on shore, so loud that we could hear it when we used to live across from Chautauqua Park.
I love the camaraderie of the event: the teams of sailors, the classes of learners close to shore, the vendors with their booths, and the deck chairs set up in front of the stage to ensure their owners the best seats possible for the concerts.
That’s the way it usually is at the regatta. But, in the pouring rain on Saturday, things were a little different than usual. The camaraderie, however, was out in full-force.
There’s something about adversity that brings people together. And having constant rain falling on you with barely a break qualifies as adversity in my book. Mild adversity, yes, but misfortune just the same.
Because we were all in the same wet boat, even perfect strangers had something to say to each other: “Quite the weather, isn’t it?” “Too bad about the rain.” “I wonder if they’ll be able to sail?” “What a crazy year.”
My two daughters, selling Girl Scout cookies with their friends in the downpour, met several people who were willing to help out a few drenched girls in their endeavors. People who even admitted to already having several boxes of cookies in their freezers at home, but who took pity on the dripping scouts in spite of this fact.
In fact, the lovely people at the Daily Globe tent (and no, I’m not being paid to say this) even allowed each of the four dedicated scouts to take a free t-shirt as a thank-you for the girl’s willingness to come out despite the weather.
I’m hoping that the girls learned a thing or two about commitment and following through and remaining positive even when shivering under broken umbrellas. I’m hoping that they remember the kindness of strangers (“Stella!”) and that they remember this regatta year as one of the most fun they ever attended.
We don’t know how the races went, and we’re sure that the weather upset many plans and probably attitudes as well, but we also know this: sometimes the best in people comes out in the lowliest of situations. Selling cookies in the rain may not be ideal…but I sure am glad we did it.