Something in the Rain

by outofthesea

The sky’s been heavy the past few days, flickering on and off with gusts of rain and bursts of wind.

When I left for my run yesterday, the sunset was already behind billows of clouds, a few estranged rays lighting the swaying treetops along the path. I could tell it was going to start raining soon. The air pressure was dropping fairly quickly. A cool breeze swept past me- my body felt light, a smile on my lips. Running gives me a certain thrill. It’s the feeling of heightened senses, moving past everything fast enough so that nothing lingers for too long, a new sight, a new smell, a new something with just a few strides more. It’s the breathing in just a certain way to feel my lungs expand, the rush of oxygen shooting through my veins, the exhaling of the nonessentials.

4 miles later, I felt the first drops of rain. I quickened my pace, briefly wondering if I could race it home and make it back relatively dry, throwing out that idea just a few moments later. The rain dashed against my face and body, and I was suddenly soaked. My t-shirt had already turned two shades darker in blue. Those that were left on the trail like me, not quite having it made it home and not quite being prepared with an umbrella or a poncho, hastily put their bags above their heads and lengthened their strides. Some huddled under the shelter of some trees, contemplating their next move.

I kept running. I could smell the change in the air. The earth soaking up the water, the trees and the leaves exuding a feeling of exhilaration, the asphalt steaming and giving off that distinctly acrid smell of summer rain, the opening up of the sky.

A certain kind of Hallelujah.

I slowed down. Reaching the edge of the woods before the last mile stretch to my house, I stopped and sat down at the roots of an old pine tree. Mud on my shins, the water washing down the rest of me. Close to the earth, that’s how I felt then. Sniffing the rain and discerning its duration. Quenching my thirst by letting the rain happen to me.

A few miles off, the last bits of the sun peeked through gaps in the clouds. This was a passing downpour. I could already feel it pulling away. It would be gone in fifteen minutes or so, I guessed. It was. Dusk fell and I sat inside the new breeze for a little while longer, watching the sky clear out.

My last mile home, I thought about what it was that I found in the rain.