I sat in my truck for 20 minutes yesterday waiting for the rain to stop so I could go running. I peeked at the south Louisiana sky and saw some areas of light competing with a looming area of dark gray. The drops continued to splash on the windshield, and I watched as a few other joggers had decided that the rain would not stop them on this day. They were out in the middle of it.
I really didn’t want to go out there and then come back soaking wet. For some reason I hate getting into a vehicle like that. And plus, what if it starts raining harder, and I’m far away from my truck? What on earth would I do thennnnnn ?
Ah, what small thoughts.
I wanted bigger thoughts, so I thought about being a small boy and how freeing playing in the rain was. I thought about a time when I was the ruler of my own little kingdom, when nothing else mattered but life itself, when the mean things girls said mattered for a whole two seconds.
I thought about the fact that at some point I was going to have to leave the comfort of the truck behind and do this, or else regret not taking advantage of such refreshing weather when I know the baking Baton Rouge summer is looming.
I could be a big boy with small thoughts or I could be a big boy with big thoughts.
I got out of the truck. And I ran. Like a horse in a field. Like Forrest Gump. I didn’t even stretch like I normally do.
What I found was that the rain as I was running through it was not nearly as thick as it seemed when I was watching it hit my windshield from inside the truck. My shirt was barely sprinkled. I ran like I haven’t run in a long time, nearly sprinting some stretches like I was on a cool, refreshing carpet ride in the middle of some fairy tale.
I was one with it all. For 10 sacred minutes, I really didn’t care if lightning struck me or not.
I’ve been wary to trust it, but it seems lately I’ve been free of something I can’t quite put my finger on. I think it was the Junior Seau tragedy and seeing how much his mother suffered. It hurt, but it also did something else, made me realize some things. Maybe it was the little mini-vacation I took just to get away from everything and everyone I’ve experienced in these last several months. Maybe it was the conversation I had with my own mom on Sunday. I don’t know. Maybe it’s all of it. I feel lighter, freer, and yesterday’s date with the rain was more than just a slog through water; it was a sacred union of nature and all its rawness with a big boy who I think might finally be strong enough to resume his reign in life.