New Roots In The Rain
by Serena Burla on November 2, 2011
Last week our move became official and we left the St. Louis area for Northern Virginia. Although we missed all the real wild weather here on the east coast, it has been raining cats and dogs since we’ve arrived. When I used that expression with my son Boyd (now 2 years 8 months), I had to explain that it meant it was raining a lot and hard. He took it as an invitation to find all his dog stuffed animals and play with them - we had quite the lovely evening playing doghouse, dog store, and dog hockey.
One thing I love about east coasters is that the weather never seems to slow them down; there are just as many people out and about, only with umbrellas and ponchos. I did have to laugh when I was out on the trail in torrential downpour and a fellow runner smiled and commented, “This is loony,” while neither of us broke stride. I might fit in just fine on the east coast after all, once I learn to parallel and back-in park only that is.
As I arrived back home after my morning run yesterday, soaking wet from the rain, the first thing Boyd asked me was, “Did you run with your mouth open today? Like this (then he opened his as wide as he could and stuck his tongue out too).” I replied, no, I hadn’t, and then it hit me, I knew the reason for his question. Several weeks ago, back in St. Louis, my friend, Andy, had invited us up to the local high school track to help cheer on a Fleet Feet Summer Speed work session. Upon seeing the track and the runners, Boyd informed me that he had to do his workout (such a runner's kid) and proceeded to begin running out in lane seven (which eventually turned into lanes six and seven - we’ll have to work on staying in lane one at a later date). His run went something like this: run - stop - run - stop - stretch - run X 4 laps. During his “run” the clouds gathered and it rained. The rain did not deter his spirit; it invigorated him. He told me “I love running! I love running in the rain!” Since we were talking, cheering, singing and playing games on our journey around the track, I challenged him to catch rain drops in his mouth as he ran. The image of my son running around the track soaking wet, mouth open, face to the sky was a snapshot in time I will never forget. Pure joy in life and running.
As I peeled off my wet socks and shoes, I pondered what it would have been like to “run with my mouth open”. One of these days I will try it. Then I laughed to myself as I thought of how I’d run through the puddles feeling like I did as a kid catching frogs in rain boots. On this rainy day, I, much like Boyd, had lived in the moment and indulged in one of life’s many simple pleasures - splash, splash, splash! Newspapers in the shoes trick were needed after that run.
Maybe this rain was Mother Nature’s reminder that change is necessary for things to grow and that us Burla’s will establish new roots here in Virginia and grow even more in character and in life’s endeavors. Or, maybe it was meant to occur so that we’d stay inside and all the boxes would get unpacked. Whatever the reason, a new chapter in our life has begun and interestingly enough, here comes the sun.