I spent today packing up the yoga studio and moving it from W. Esplanade Ave. to my garage.
It was a strange day, a surreal mix of past, present and future. Instructors and students stopped by, called, sent emails, lit up my iPhone screen with texts … most of them had encouraging and kind words to say. A handful of others had, meh, not so much nice to say.
I wasn’t sure what to do with all that I was processing today. And when there’s figuring out to do, I do what I do naturally — I run.
By the time I got the studio buttoned up and my kids picked up from school and checked off the orthodontist appointment and dinner plans and all of the other Day-In-Day-Out items of Motherhood, it was [vintage Southern afternoon] dumping rain.
I ran anyway. I left my iPhone at home and ran through the rain without Nine Inch Nails blowing thoughts from my brain. I was the only soul for miles along Lake Pontchartrain during this stretch. Several times, I turned around and ran backward just to verify my surroundings.
This is what I discovered:
• Had I never learned, really learned, what it is to run a newspaper, I couldn’t truly appreciate the viewpoints of others.
• Had I never learned, really learned, from my jewelry business when the benefits outweigh the costs, I might have second guessed my decision.
• Had I never learned, really learned, from my photography business how to see light, I wouldn’t have noticed to truly appreciate how delicately and prominently light can reflect from a sunbreak.
• Had I never learned, really learned, from my yoga studio business how to be in the present moment, I wouldn’t have noticed to truly appreciate the wind in my ears, similar to the sound I would hear as a kid careening on my bike, and how to listen to my own breath to stay present and keep a steady pace.
As I ran, I thought less and less about the rain and less and less about anything at all. I just took it all in.
And the most beautiful thing presented: a rainbow. I followed with my gaze as it took me along the Causeway, over to Mandeville. Had I not left my Best Camera at home, I would have posted a photo of the rainbow (the Best Camera, of course, is the one you have with you, as it’s pretty hard to take a picture without it.)
I immediately thought of my dear friend Beth, whom I’ve known for 20+ years, and I imagined having lunch with her next week now that I’ll have more free time.
I thought about Jay for a long while on that run, how he would appreciate the freedom to be outdoors in the rain, free to run.
I thought about the people who have touched my life, some of whom I used to call by titles (like instructors, or students) other than what I call them now (like friends.) I thought about all that I learned and how I can apply that knowledge in the future.
And then I just listened to the rush of air, my own breathing, and I ran.