Monday, July 12, 2010
A blessing in the sky
Yesterday I stood in the rain beside my sister and marveled at the grandeur of a double rainbow stretching across eastern skies. I took it as a positive omen, a wink and a nod from the Creator if you will. The old song goes, "Rainbows are visions but only illusions; rainbows have nothing to hide...". I, like the writer of that song, feel they do indeed have something to hide. They are full of symbolism, like all of nature, that speaks to those who have ears to hear. They show us part of a circle (or two) and leave us to fill in the other half out of our own imaginations. Sometimes we see only the smallest piece of the circle, sometimes the arc entire. There are reasons why rainbows and double rainbows form, that have to do with the angles at which light rays enter drops of water and the angles at which they leave. I googled it and you can too. I am not talking about the physics of the phenomenon; I am speaking of them in a more spiritual vein (surprise). Why do rainbows give us hope? Why have people attached almost magical powers and meanings to rainbows throughout history? For one thing, we have to lift our eyes from earthly things in order to observe them; we stand still and let natural beauty bathe us in light and color. We stop thinking about ourselves....we stop thinking. With a quiet mind we accept a kiss from the sky and give it back a smile. An arc of light alone would be wonderful enough, for heaven's sake, but an arc filled with colors, one behind the other, makes one almost giddy. It is too much. And they stand, shining against a backdrop of grey clouds or against a clearing sky after the storm seeming to shout in a loud voice, " Do Not Despair!!" " Believe that the sun will return and hope with it!" "You are not alone, nor forsaken." For some reason rainbows always bring to my mind a line from Chief Seattle: "The Earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the Earth." I know there are many who disagree with that line but the truth of it rings in my heart like a bell.