Last week I mentioned on Facebook a little rainbow hunting excursion that ended rather precipitously. I put the account in the form of a (lengthy) sentence poem (I’m getting quite a collection of those). Here it is: I woke from a lazy Saturday afternoon nap to find a gentle rain falling as the sun shone and put on flip-flops so my good sandals wouldn’t get wet and headed out the front door and carefully down the slippery steps but fell on my keister anyway, and there was, unaccountably, no rainbow, so I just went and took down the wet clothes from the line.
Today was quite a different story. I hit the jackpot with a double! The sun was blinding me as I neared home at the end of a Sunday evening walk. To my right was the community garden, 20 or so beds of lush plants in an expanse of very green grass. When a steady rain started up, I stopped and paused before turning around, thinking, “There just has to be a rainbow out of this; it’s purely a law of physics—light shining into water.” Sure enough, as I gazed into the heavens I saw pale colors taking shape on the left, and second by second—absolutely as if by magic (yeah, and physics)—the arc of pastels appeared, perfectly spanning the gardens. Each end of the rainbow disappeared into tree tops.
By now, the curved stripes were as vivid in color as any I’ve ever seen. Roy G Biv, I began, starting at the top and identifying distinct red, orange, yellow, and green stripes. I was trying to break down Biv—the blue, indigo and violet were pretty indistinguishable —when something above it all caught my eye. Another pale, multicolored patch! As I watched in amazement, the process repeated itself exactly, the same celestial magic, faint colors deepening and shaping into another perfect curve in the dome of heaven, two of them hanging over my community and the verdant vegetation in silent blessing. God, it was gorgeous.
The gentle shower waned and the fading began, but I didn’t want to leave them hanging there in the sky without me, so I determined to stay until they disappeared. How gracefully the process reversed itself. First, the higher one dulled but was still fully visible. Then, sections began to get so light that I wondered if I was still seeing color or just seeing where it been a moment before. I could still see parts of it, barely, and it naturally came to the point that when I looked away and looked back it was gone, utterly gone.
The lower won was still quite sharp. In fact, it outlasted me. Some clouds covered part of it and gradually, only a faint half was still visible. Turning my back on it, I walked the half block to my street and looked around one last time before I hung a hard right for home. Still there, still magical.
What privileged moments for me, and I have no profound reflections to add to what the Creator has already reflected in these and all rainbows!