Saturday I went for a walk in the rain.
I wore a pair of fast drying shorts, a comfortable t-shirt, a hoodie, a rain jacket, and my new sneakers. I had a big umbrella and a baseball cap to shield my glasses from spray.
I stopped by the bookstore at the station in the city and bought a book on Japanese folklore. I know nothing about it, so it seemed interesting and good for my Japanese education. Then I stopped by the grocery store, picked up some food and headed off to hunt for the location of my friend’s barbecue party, under a bridge somewhere.
I walked in a part of the city I’d never been through before, then strolled down the river to find the bridge rather than hiding from the sky in the tram. It rained a lot, but I had my umbrella, and I stayed mostly dry.
On the way home from the barbecue, which moved indoors due to side winds blowing the rain under the bridge, I was sitting at a different station that runs beneath the road providing a nice shelter from the precipitation. A young japanese couple was teasing each other, they got up and moved when I came. I sat down and enjoyed the sounds of the water falling on dirt and weeds and the pitter-patter of drops on a single tree’s leaves.
And then I saw something I had never seen before, and didn’t know lived in Japan until that point. A weasel ran in front of me, beside the railroad tracks. I only saw it for a moment, but it was easily distinguished from a cat or a tanuki by its long slender body and tail, short legs and tan coat.
Some cultures say weasels are bad luck, an omen of ill fortune. I don’t believe in ill fortune. I don’t believe in bad luck.
Yesterday I found out that my friend from college passed away.
But I don’t believe in bad luck. I did like the rain. For the first time in a long time, I really enjoyed the rain.