I have run in the rain several morning this week. One morning, the rain was coming down so heavily I could barely see the path beneath my feet. My contacts stuck to my eyes. My shoes squished. The warm wind made it feel like I was swimming with each step. Noone else was on the path by the time the heaviest rain fell. I kept going. And going. And going. Puddles became pools. Palm fronds bent so low they touched my petite frame. The kaleidoscopic sky that threw shadows between raindrops.
I was immediately grateful for the storm. Not for one second did I mourn sunshine. Not for one second did I think about getting home as quickly as I could to escape the downpour. Not for one second did I continue a noisy inner dialogue. Not for one second did I feel cold as my body was drenched to my bones. Not for one second did I question why I even started to run that day under such an ominous sky. Not only did I not stop running. I wanted to run faster. I wanted to crash through puddles. I wanted to taste the rain like sweet nectar.
I was being giving a true gift. I was able to appreciate it while I was in it, fully experiencing it.
That is rarely how it goes for me. Generally, I have to step out of the moment to embrace it. I often have to be removed from the intensity of my emotions before I can see them through a positive lens. This storm was different.
I was serene in the midst of the storm.
What about the storm soothed me? Why did it take a storm to quiet the chatter? Can the metaphorical storms of the everyday ease my mind? How do I create calm every day? These questions have hovered in my life for a while. I have written about finding calm. I have written about equanimity. I written about the shen pa? I have thought, and thought, and thought, and the questions remain.
I have thirsted for calm from the marrow of my bones.
Wrapping my arms around the rain was a decision made by my heart. The decision was guided by my senses. The decision was guided by tapping into profound gratitude. The decision was guided by presence. I was right there. Running into awareness.
The last few weeks of my training have been really tough. I have found it hard to put my shoes on and get out the door. I have found it hard to love the journey. I have not felt good physically or emotionally. I have not met my goals. Again. Perhaps the rain was meant to wash away my frustration. Perhaps the rain was meant to show me how it feels to frame a moment in joy. Perhaps the rain was meant to provide a fresh start.