Saturday, July 10, 2010

Umbrella Karma

This morning's rain had me thinking about an umbrella.  This is a phenomenon of which we are all aware, yet rarely pay attention to.  Most of us have lost an umbrella at least once (and probably more than) in our lives.  But I'd be willing to bet we've all also "found" an umbrella at least once, too.  And my educated guess is that there are very few of us who have actually purchased an umbrella (more than once, anyway). 

WH and I went down the street to Circa to watch the World Cup game and have a little lunch (fantastic roast beef sandwich, by the way).  I toted an umbrella with me, unsure if the day's weather would hold or not.  We were walking back home under the partly cloudy sky as I realized that I had left my umbrella next to my chair.  I chalked it up to that grand phenomenon, releasing it into the world secure in the knowledge that one would come back to me at some point. 

I have no qualms about picking up an umbrella from the bar at the end of the night when the pile by the door is larger than the number of the people.  Someone else has released his umbrella to the greater good.  I once picked up a hot pink umbrella after a football game in high school that lasted me through college.  Another time I had this polka dotted umbrella that I literally could not lose.  It kept coming back to me like an umbrella-boomerang. 

I mentioned this to WH this afternoon as we were walking home and he said this:

WH: Stealing is wrong, unless it's an umbrella. 

WT: I agree.

WH:  What would Jesus do? He would take one with him on the way out.  Trust me.  Washing that hair is a bitch.

WT: Really.

WH:  I mean, you've seen the pictures of Jesus...that hair is not easy to take care of.  And come to think about it, it's not just Jesus' way, it's the Buddhist way too.

WT:  Oh.

WH: It's karma.  You leave your umbrella in a cab, you leave it in a restaurant and somebody else will take it.  It's only karma that you're in a restaurant, you take an umbrella.  You find an umbrella in the cab, you take it with you.  It's umbrella karma.  So however you look at it, you must take an umbrella.

I think WH is right.  You wouldn't leave your purse, wallet, or cell phone behind for the next person, but how heartbroken are you when you leave an umbrella behind?  My guess is not very, simply because you've lost and gained enough times for it to even out.  And that's really all we can hope for in life (and umbrellas): to break even.


  1. Interesting viewpoint. I have several umbrellas and have purchased all of them (except for the Citibank umbrella given to me when I worked there.) Obviously I would not be as upset about losing an umbrella as about losing my wallet, but overall, I do not want to lose anything that is mine and don't feel that the next person has the "right" to take something because I mistakenly left it. What if I come back looking for it? I don't know that I believe in this "umbrella karma" thing. What if it rains again before I get the chance to buy or "find" another umbrella? I'll just be wet. Not a good look.

  2. I like the idea of umbrella karma. I wish I remembered to remove mine from the car more often when it was raining!

    xo Susie