The Storms of Canada

Today was the wettest run I’ve had yet on this C25K program, and while at first it felt cold, it felt wonderful in the end. One thing that keeps happening is that I feel more connected with the elements. Being a lover of nature, I find running the perfect sport for that need to be close to our environment–of course as long as you run outside. Two days a week I run during lunch break at work. On Saturdays I run at home. Fortunately, my workplace has a gym, lockers, and showers. There are also several trails and ways to get away from the world. One of my locker-mates, who I have worked with in the past, teased me about being so drenched when I got back  from my run today. “You run in the rain?”

Damn right!

Two nights ago, we had a pretty big storm on the west coast of Canada. The news had warned about 80km winds and 80ml rainfall. I went to bed around 10:30 or so, and nothing was happening. Around midnight or shortly after, I began to hear the sounds of heavy wind lifting and falling. It reminded me of falling asleep near the San Clemente beach in California once, with that strong wave action that can lull you to sleep. Then the rain came. I got up to open the window. Our bedroom has a sliding glass door that leads to a small deck and closed-in back yard. I just opened the window a little due to our cat Radagast wanting to always try to find a way out. That wind and rain sounded so wonderful to me that I barely slept. I just liked the sound of it.

The next morning, yesterday, I was tired. On the way to work we heard the news of a shooter on Parliament Hill, and all day I tried to tune into the reports of what was going down. It was like the storm had become figurative. Turns out a crazy guy went on a shooting spree; fortunately he didn’t get far. One guard was killed, but the gunman was also killed before he could do more damage. For Canada, it was like a wake-up call to the fact that even though Parliament has traditionally been accessible to the public, we are not immune to acts of terror–from outside or within. The shooter was a Canadian.

This morning, rain continued under a Ballardian sky, like tears for yesterday, pounding so hard that roads flooded due to debris from the first storm two nights ago filling up sewage drains, which backed up the new rainfall, spilling it over into streets and sidewalks and ground cover, where it puddled and collected. Living in a temperate rainforest is what makes this area so beautiful, ecologically quite rare, and a home to the “lungs of the earth”, the Pacific northwest temperate rainforest that has climax trees over 1,000 years old and carpets of old-growth. So we are definitely used to the rain.

But this rainstorm was like a tempest, perhaps the metaphorical warning of times to come. Thing is: we have to face it, get out into it, feel it, heed it.

I sometimes don’t have the best outlook for our planet. I am generally positive about most things, but not about where we’re heading with radicalized ideals that are so harmful (as they always have been). Then there’s significant climate changes already happening–which are still hardly talked about or truly realized. We have climate PR sound bytes and bits that make everyone tired of it. Not enough people are tuned into what’s really happening, despite the fact you have so many people trying to really talk about it in a genuine way. Our voices churn into the butter, liquify.

I don’t want to end this post on a negative vibe. I urge people to get outside, away from civilization if possible. I’ll just quote what John Muir once wrote about national parks and making sure we seek out nature in our lives:

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life. Awakening from the stupefying effects of the vice of over-industry and the deadly apathy of luxury, they are trying as best they can to mix and enrich their own little ongoings with those of Nature, and to get rid of rust and disease.

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