Sunday, August 7, 2016

Come Out and Play! Running in the Rain

When we began our 6.5 mile training run for the 2017 Bermuda Half Marathon, we were confident that we would outrun the forecast for rain. We didn't even bother to tie rain jackets around our waist.

Being out in the rain and feeling a sense of unbridled joy among my community of runners is a special feeling for me. I contracted paralytic polio when I was 5 and never experienced that feeling of running through puddles as a child. I didn't even start running until 2007.

When I was still in a leg brace, using a wheelchair at time for mobility now almost 10 years ago, I had a dream about splashing in the puddles without my leg brace a la Gene Kelly in Singin' in the Rain.

That dream prompted me to write this poem included in my latest poetry book, "Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems to Heal Your Life":

Come Out and Play
Arms flung open wide dancing in the rain
pure abiding joy to feel alive again
healing tears fall and blend in God’s puddle
no time to sit in a corner and huddle
all the old rules driven by fears
washed away now by God’s loving tears
the imprint dad left no longer remains
rain washes away all of the stains
baptized with love, Truth lights my way
the sun shines through on this rainy day
splashing and laughing my heart opens wide
embracing and flowing I’m one with the tide
God takes my hand release the old way
bathe in my glory come out and play!

Last year, just about this time, I was leaving the Seaport Hotel after lunch with a friend.

I had no jacket and no umbrella and within a few feet of stepping out of the lobby I heard the crack of thunder and bolts of lightning filled the sky. I could have easily taken shelter and waited for the storm to pass BUT

I splashed in the puddles and was soaked to the skin by the time I got to my car. I embraced every moment of running through the rain; the first time I ever felt free and unencumbered, fearless in being out in the intense elements.

Tom and I chose a challenging training run with hills. We welcomed the cloud cover as a break from the searing hot sun and humidity. There were a few plops plops of rain drops. As we were almost nearing the end of our run, the plops turned into a steady rain and then the downpours came!

There were other runners out for their training runs who were also caught in the rain without jackets or hats. We smiled and giggled as we passed each other giving each other high fives and a happy shrug as if to say, "What are you gonna do? We're out here so we may as well finish the run."

I was robbed of so much in my childhood that was fraught with struggles trying to overcome paralytic polio at age 5 followed by 9 years of torture and unrelenting violence. But moments like yesterday made up for all of that. Rather than listen to the cautionary tale I received from doctors throughout my life as a survivor of paralytic polio, Tom and I responded to the call of the Universe to, "Come out and play!"

To your health and wellness,

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