Running in the rain used to be one of my favorite things to do. I start out and it’s cold and the drops are like cold spikes against your skin but as I go, I warm up, and the drops are soft and cooling against my skin. There is something to be said, too, for being out in the rain without layers of clothes against getting cold or wet, with my legs bare and shoes soaking wet and to still be running in it.
I say it running in the rain used to be one of my favorite things to do but then I got Lyme and couldn’t withstand getting cold, much less wet. My doctors ordered me to stop running because the blood-brain barrier becomes permeable to the Lyme spirochete with cardio. I didn’t run for eight years. I wrapped myself up in 700 fill down vest in 90 degree weather. I lived small and tight and cautious.
I started running again, a year or two ago, but I’ve been running as sporadically as I’ve been writing this blog. Then the rains came. The first storms had me running to buy rainbows, umbrella, rain gear to bike in. Clothes that would make me impermeable to the wet and cold. The next storms came rolling through and I went out walking in it, hesitantly. Would I get sick? Would my body collapse under the strain of cold layered over illness? Would this be the one thing too much that would knock me by the wayside? Nope. I’ve apparently tip the scale back from collapse to resiliency.
Then storms came through again this week and I went out running in them, without layers of ranger. Just me, shorts and the rain. Rain soaked my hair and ran down my back, my legs were spattered with mud and my shoes go so wet that I didn’t hesitate to run through puddles. I heated up and the rain was a welcome cooling.
My shoes are still drying in the hallway from yesterdays run and my tulips are blossoming in my window box.
The first time I saw a harvest moon rising on the horizon, I was 13 or 14. My mom had just taken me shopping in San Francisco and we were driving home on 101. I saw the tip of its arc crest the horizon across the bay, a crazy reddish-orange color, and then slowly rise. At first, it seemed too impossibly big and the color, too rich, to be the moon. I watched it rise, stunned by its beauty.
This past Sunday we drove north and then up to the top of Mt. Tam. We hiked to a small outcropping of rock and sat and watched the sky turn gold then pink above the thick blanket of fog. The sky deepened, the day darkened, we ate our take-out Thai food and watched the wild turkeys until the moon rose, already in eclipse, above the fog. It looked almost transparent at first, a haze against the sky. A jack rabbit came by, its ears sticking up above the high grasses. We stood in the cool air and watched the moon develop into a red sphere. We stayed watching until the earth passed through leaving a sudden and very bright curve of light around the edge.
It is so easy for me to get caught up in my daily life that I don’t stop and take time to witness the earth around me—even though taking this time is the thing that grounds me, inspired me and brings me peace. When I stop and watch the waves or enjoy the sun or watch a moonrise, I invariably return to myself, shake off all the clutter of the things I need to do, and come back to that place of inspiration within me.
I start seeing clients at 7am so I am up and out of the house by 6:30am. As the sun rises, I am already biking across the city. I love it. There is no better way to start my day than to witness the sun rise. It sets me right, no matter how much of the rest day I spend inside.
Of course, when the weekend comes, I laze in bed until late in the morning and take my time leaving the house. Except this weekend. I met up with two friends at Land’s End at six to go on a hike. We watched dawn come on all silver and light over the ocean and then walked along the cliffs down to Mile Rock Beach.
I was tired, sure, but I was so happy to have gotten up early enough to see the sun rise for me, on a day when I could enjoy just being there.
This has been a longtime goal of mine. When I was terribly sick with Lyme, getting up at all, and much more in the morning required so much effort. I had to push against deep fatigue and crippling pain and mental confusion. No matter how much I tried, I was constantly disheveled. Waking and getting up by eleven am was a feat for me. My days were very short, as I was invariably in bed again hours later. My dream during this time of my life to be able to get up at 8 am and have a morning so to be able to be awake and up this past Sunday, in time to watch the clouds and ocean lighten, turn silver and take form with friends was such a gift.