New York City, September 14, 2016

★ It was still cool and peaceful out ahead of the elevator rush, and with the sun creeping into the slowly filling schoolyard. Soon enough afterward, summer was back, and it seemed as if the return of summer could be taken for granted—until, abruptly, dark summer storm clouds appeared. The new waterproof sneakers and the old water-destroyable sneakers had both been left at home, deemed unnecessary. The dimming light turned greenish, and the first rain made the pavement shine. Then the full downpour was on, with water spraying away from passing tires. The rain went on long enough to change plans, slackened enough to give false hope, then began pouring heavily again. When it was too late to do anything, clear sunbeams hit the buildings. “Water coming, water coming,” a vendor muttered in the farmers’ market, holding a pole and waiting to knock the collected rain out of an awning, as soon as there was enough space between passersby.