Sunday, January 6, 2013

Special Gift For A Rainy Day

THERE IS a new umbrella in my life. My husband bought it months ago to put under the tree as a Christmas present. He remembered it was one that I admired and wrote about in a previous post. It was meant to be a rainy day surprise when he needed to give me a gift for a special occasion and couldn’t get out on his own due to his health issues this past year. He cleverly grabbed an opportunity to make the purchase without me knowing about it. Because I heard it was bad luck to open an umbrella indoors I went outside Christmas morning to unfold it to its fullest potential.

I dislike being superstitious and was annoyed at my own slight apprehension when I recently took some pictures of it indoors. In truth I believe it is the significance we place on such things rather than the things themselves that have sway in our lives. I choose to believe umbrellas opened and closed, indoors or out, brim with good fortune. And for those who think an umbrella has no significance at all there is no doubt it can offer protection from too much sun and stormy weather.

Where did the superstition come from? It seems in rainy old England the tough metal spokes in umbrellas, also used as walking sticks, were poking folks causing pain. Knickknacks were also being broken so it was simply smarter not to open one indoors.

The earliest umbrellas seemed to spring up in China and India before covering other parts of the globe. In ancient Egypt the mother goddess, Nut, was associated with the umbrella because her body arched over the entire Earth with her fingers and toes touching the ground.

An umbrella representing the goddess was for the elite only so ordinary people standing in its shade were supposedly bringers of bad luck. It was also thought that opening an umbrella in the shade as well as indoors insulted the Sun god Ra. Such ideas are great reminders that some knowledge that we hold true today will be the superstitions of tomorrow.

Mankind has long found comfort in superstition seeking reassurance through stories created to give meaning to the mystery of existence. Good luck or bad how can it be wrong to crave certainty in this vastly unknowable universe?

Whether keeping an umbrella closed to prevent disaster or breaking open a fortune cookie to peek at the days ahead we seek control in an unpredictable world. And who knows … there could be something knowable … hidden clues woven into the curtain separating today from tomorrow about the outcome of our choices that when realized could impact our futures.

I am lucky to have a husband thoughtful enough to give me a gift he knew I would love and then keep it as a secret until the time was right. Now I just need to find the perfect outfit to go with these colorful dragonflies.

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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms


  1. The superstition from what I grew up with is not to open the umbrella over your head indoors. It is okay to open it away from you if possible. It is very pretty, the colors and patterns.

  2. It's a stunning umbrella and you have a sweet husband. Enjoy your cover in the rain.

  3. That's a fantastic umbrella and such a good idea of your husband's. Interesting post about umbrellas too.

  4. Bring on the rain, what a stunningly lovely umbrella.

    He knows you well if he picks out something so beautiful, and with dragonflies on it.


  5. I love dragonflies, that's a beautiful umbrella.

  6. Such a lovely and colorful umbrella and a wonderful husband! I love the fascinating history as well! Hope you have a wonderful week! Enjoy!

  7. Quite colourful!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  8. I love the colours and designs on your new brolly. I am very jealous.

  9. Wow, you made it! Or, should I say your husband made it to please you perfectly? Now that you have this dragonfly umbrella, you can’t complain rainy days, can you? I like to see various different colored and patterned umbrella-flowers blooming on the streets on rainy days.


  10. Ah, stardust … if my husband had actually made this umbrella with his own hands that really would have been something to write about! He simply purchased it, remembering that I said I liked it months ago, to please me with a nice surprise. :)

  11. I remember reading your post about that umbrella and thinking the colourful dragonfly patterns were exquisite. Now, they take on the added beauty of the tender understanding your husband shows in feeding "Penelope's" yearning for expressions of gentle whimsey, inspired creativity and fancy-free flight.

    My "Newfy" mother was very, very superstitious. Sometimes, it seemed we had to be so careful: no meeting in a stairway, no new shoes on the table, no umbrella over our heads in the house, never one without three, if we mistakenly put a shirt on inside out or backwards, we had to wear it that way all day or we would have bad luck, dreams always meant the opposite of whatever happened.. I could go on and on. Old habits die hard, but like you, I dislike being superstitious, so I love your thought that umbrellas "brim with good fortune" whether open or closed. I bet your husband knew that :)

  12. I very much like the colours of this umbrella! And I like the shape when it's open too. I don't think I'm truly superstitious but sometimes I am initially spooked when certain things someone opens an umbrella indoors. :))

  13. I wonder if my use of “make it” was not correct, as it could happen as a non-native speaker. I used “make it” to mean “achieve a goal” or “to be successful.” I wrote “you made it” because I had remembered that you said you liked the umbrella and you got it. Or your husband “made it”, because his present was successful to please you perfectly. I wonder if I could make sense now.


YOUR THOUGHTS add colour to the content and are always much appreciated.