It was still dark when I set out for a run with my triathlon club to see the Cherry Blossom trees in DC this morning. Flashes of lightning illuminated the thick cloud-cover blotting out the moon. The air was still and muggy and charged with electricity, but the rain felt like it might hold off for a while. We were almost to the tidal basin when the thunderclaps hit: one...two...three... boom! Lightning streaked through the sky, illuminating the marble monuments rising majestic and powerful along Constitution Avenue. It started to rain. Then pour. Big, fat raindrops splattered onto the pavement. We took shelter under the roof of a Park Service building and waited until the first glows of sunrise painted the horizon an electric pink, pushing the storm away. We set back out, into the rain, toward the foreign trees, their sudden blooms a ghostly unexpected white in this haunting break of day. A shadow of clouds moved swiftly now over the river and snatches of sky--eerie shades of pastel pink--shone through the gray. Raindrops tinkered into the tidal basin, the glassy surface an unsettling metallic silver. Pale petals fell from the trees as we ran, showers of white raining down around us on a muddy foot path. I stretched out my hand, closing my fist around a falling petal, carrying it with me as we ran, like children intoxicated by that first warm spring rain. We splashed through puddles, water soaking through our clothes, dripping down our faces and into our eyes. We chased each other back up the streets, back into the heart of the city, and I said goodbye to winter. Goodbye long dark nights. Goodbye firelight. Goodbye woodpile. Goodbye cold kitchen tiles. Welcome spring. Welcome Cherry Blossoms. Welcome tourists. And welcome back running in the rain.