Recently I started walking again, with my immediate goal being to log at least 10,000 steps (5 miles) on my pedometer 5 days out of 7. The goal was set by my company's fitness site, not by me; personally, I'd prefer to have started more modestly, having been sedentary for most of the winter, but because that's the stated goal, I feel an obligation to try to meet it.
I clip the pedometer on my waistband as soon as I get dressed every day, so that all of my steps count, but the pedometer differentiates between steps and what it counts as aerobic steps...meaning steps where I've been moving without any stops for at least 10 minutes. I more than met the goal yesterday, logging a little over 3 miles of aerobic steps, but today I was tired, and in no mood to walk. I thought about using one of my rest days, but with walking, as with everything else, I prefer to get any heavy lifting done first, so tonight, with just over 5,000 non-aerobic steps logged on my pedometer, reluctantly, I started out for my walk, thinking I'd be happy to complete just 5000 aerobic steps (2 1/2 miles) tonight. I'd no sooner stepped outside the front door than several huge, cold drops of rain splatted onto my head. We were supposed to have stormy weather beginning this afternoon, but the rain held off until I was ready to walk (of course), so I immediately turned around and went back inside, where I put on my REI rain jacket, which has a decent hood, and then started on my way.
At first I was cold, but then a funny thing happened...it began to rain really hard, and the rain felt GOOD. I was wearing a pair of Teva river sandals, and to avoid the mud that had run off onto some of the sidewalks, I walked into the street, which was flooded. The water ran swift and cool and clean over my feet, and at first I kicked a little, and then a lot, since I was drenched anyway, splashing happily in the water. I was walking sufficiently far and sufficiently fast that I was no longer cold, and the rain smelled really good. The water was loud; not just the rain, whose loudness varied, but the water rushing into the wide hungry mouths in the gutters that carry the water to the sewers beneath the neighborhood to dump all of the street runoff into the creek that runs through this neighborhood...the water in some of those was almost roaring. I walked to several creek crossings, to watch the creek rise. I walked for almost 90 minutes, over 5 miles logged as aerobic walking, and in that time, the creek rose several feet, although it was nowhere near running up over the street itself. I've lived in this neighborhood for 28 years, and in that time I've seen the creek overrun the streets just once, which was quite enough.
Anyway, walking in the rain I was reminded of how much I love to walk in the rain, something I haven't really done, not like this walk, in years. And I thought of e.e. cummings wonderful poem, in Just:
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
whistles far and wee
and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's
when the world is puddle-wonderful
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and