I try to listen to my gut. And on Wednesday of this week, my gut told me to go for a run. Not an insane request, but I tend to keep my runs to Sunday. Also, it wanted me to run closer to work, not at home.
However, I run the work route so rarely that it is still a treat. The weather had been nice. I had wimped out on the last run. I told my gut that I would play along.
Happily for me, the stretch that I run downtown is along the waterfront. I start just as the main road turns and you get to enjoy the Olympic Sculpture Park. Go parallel to the train tracks, watch the elevator feed the giant barges, see the sea otters and the seagulls play in their natural environment.
Yes, the sea otters are cute. Yep, the seagulls can glide effortlessly; nary a flap as they stay aloft. We get it. Showoffs.
I was in the mood to be friendly. I tried to instill bits of joy. I uttered, “Morning” to folks I jogged past. (Folks do not pass me when jogging. I pass them. What? No, I am not competitive. Who said that? Give me their name! We must duel!) They did not take the hint. You can get away with being friendly early in the morning on a Washington trail or a neighborhood stretch. But downtown Seattle? Nah. The vibe is very much a “sip your coffee in silence” or “listen to your earbuds”. Seattle is not a chatty morning town.
It was a solid run. I exerted effort. Not to the extent that I was going to pass out. I simply plugged along, happy to be outside. I got to the train yards and turned around. On my way back, the clouds started to spritz. A light dose of moisture was applied. Not enough to soak anyone. Barely enough to cool us down. I could not see Mount Rainier. It was nice out, to the point where I almost did not miss Rainier. Almost.
With a mile left to go, the sun started to rise in all its glory. There was a normal amount of light and blue sky, but the clouds above the skyline were different. In particular, I remember seeing a patch of orange light just above a cloud. As if God was making His presence known on high, before descending to the horizon.
The gentle rain faded. I looked again for Rainier; but saw only clouds. On a lark (listening to that gut of mine again), I turned around. There, hovering above the Salish, was a double rainbow.
I do not carry gear when I run. No cameras, no phones, no fancy image-capturing technology. Besides, I knew that other people would help me out in that area. And they did.
There was a noticeable shift. The woman walking her dog smiled at me as I jogged up the hill. I went to the corner of the park and sat, taking in the rainbows. Other dog-walkers were stopping and conversing with each other. A man in his electronic wheelchair drove past with his dog in tow. A woman walked by and commented to me on how nice the scenery was.
I did not have a watch on. There were no clocks visible from the park. I had to get to work eventually. Yet, in a show of trust, I decided to stick out the rainbow. If God was going to let me see such a pretty sight, then I was not about to rush it. I would sit and enjoy the moment while it lasted. Rainbows do not last forever. The world could wait.
I let the last of the rain fall on me. I felt my heartrate slow. I sat on a metal chair and watched as the rainbows went to a single rainbow, then melted into the clouds entirely. And, in a gesture quite unlike me, I remembered to give gratitude. To appreciate that God let me have this beautiful view. That, in that moment, I felt like exactly who I was supposed to be, exactly where I was supposed to be. The ever-elusive feeling of serenity was mine.
“And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I brings clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind.”-Genesis 9: 12-15a
I took some deep breaths, felt a sense of peace, and my gut and I started the workday refreshed.
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