It only happens at one time of the year; and this is it. The rising eastern sun has to be in just the perfect spot to beam through the sun catcher crystals hanging at the kitchen window and fill the kitchen walls and ceilings with rainbows. When you make the crystals swing, the rainbows dance all round the room. And so it was a couple of mornings ago when I showed my little granddaughter, aged two, how this all works. Mesmerised, she took it all in and said, “Dancing rainbows!”
When I was a little girl I lived on a farm situated almost directly on the Earth’s parallel of latitude 23.5 degrees south of the equator, otherwise the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere. I have many happy memories of my childhood; when you are a child everything seems bigger and brighter and so it was with the rainbows. The biggest, clearest and brightest rainbows would arch the entire sky after a summer’s downpour.
Storms were a family affair, we would gather on the front verandah and watch the lightning split the sky and wait for the thunder to crack, counting the space of time between both so as to determine how close the lightning was and judge if we were right in the middle of the storm.
One afternoon, after a heavy thunder storm, the rainbow ended in the field right in front of our home. My father told me that if I were to go out there I would find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. So off I trudged. The field had just been ploughed and I sank down into mud; but do you know, I could never get to the end of the rainbow. The closer I came to it, the further it moved away, nor could I see that pot of gold. Needless to say, I came back empty handed feeling a bit discouraged and short changed about the whole deal.
If you were to ask me my favourite colour, I would say all the colours of the rainbow. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. I make an effort to fill my life with colour. When I think of the rainbows of nature, I find them awesome, inspiring, magical. One of the things that fascinates me about life, is that it is filled with paradoxes and of course the paradox of the rainbow is that you have to endure the storm before you get to experience the beauty of the rainbow.
Rainbows speak to me of love and faithfulness. They are a sign of hope for a future that is bright and full of colour. They hold a promise and remind me there is a God and all is well. In a world filled with pain and tears, there is only one thing that is certain and that is that nothing is certain. Dreams, promises and hearts can all be shattered so, for me, seeking out the rainbows of life is just plain, good therapy.
Although I did not know it at the time, while I was trudging through that mud, I was being exposed to an important life lesson. Life is a journey, not a destination and for as long as we are alive, we will never arrive. Just when we thought we were where “there” where we wanted to be , just when we thought we were ready to scoop that pot of gold, we realise that “there” has moved and we still have further to go.
Life is not always sunny but, regardless of how severe the storms, it is still worth believing in a future with hope. It is still worth seeking the promise. And it is worth making the effort to fill your life with all the colours of dancing rainbows.