Rainbow Connection

downloadThe storm came in quickly. A typical late summer afternoon thunderstorm, powered by thick heat and humidity. The clouds rolled in, trees twitched and swayed and the heavens opened to release torrents of rain. The temperature dropped, dropped, dropped. Ahhhhhh!

Safe inside, we watched the rain pattern the windows and splatter the earth. I puttered about in the kitchen, hoping the storm would last long enough to soak the parched gardens.

About 15 minutes later, dinner was just about ready and the downfall was easing. Rays of sunlight pierced the clouds from the western sky, transforming rain droplets to crystals.

“Oh! Look! There’s got to be a rainbow out there!” I announced. “I’m going to see.” I quickly dumped the gnocchi in the colander, and turned off all the burners.

“I’ll look out front,” Lydia called as I raced out the garden door, headed to the driveway. Both of us were heedless of the falling rain, busily scanning the skies.

Wait….is that one? No…. Over there? Just over the trees? The faintest tint of color at the top of an arch? Yes? YES!

“I see one!” I shouted. “There’s a rainbow! You can barely see it, just over the trees!”

Lydia rushed over to join me in the driveway and I pointed.

“Oooh!”

“I’m driving down to the river to see if I can see it better there,” I announced. “Want to come?”

“Sure! I’ll see if Sophie does, too.”

Within a minute or two, we’d dropped everything. I had double checked that the burners were off, thrown a dishtowel over the steaming gnocchi, and grabbed my camera.  Dinner could wait. The three of us jumped in the car and headed down the driveway.

As soon as we turned onto the road, our view opened up and we saw it.

“Look! Look! There it is!”

The sky was lit with the full arc of a rainbow, the colors dazzling and bright. We chattered excitedly, pointing as the rainbow shimmered and glowed.

“It’s so bright! I’ve never seen one so bright!”

“Wait! There’s another one! See! It’s really faint but it’s there! Oh my gosh!  It’s a double rainbow!”

We continued down to the river, making admiring comments all the while.

We pulled into the parking lot at the river park, and jumped out to join several others who were there, heads angled toward the sky, cameras snapping. Everyone was smiling.

DSC_0575

After several moments and several pictures, I looked back to realize my car was parked haphazardly, halfway in a spot, halfway in the middle of the lot. I looked around and noticed other cars similarly situated. I pointed this out to another spectator (and poor parker), and we laughed together. Clearly we’d all been too excited and distracted to park properly. Isn’t that wonderful?  It reminded me of a poem by Maggie Smith “Poem Beginning with a Retweet” and these lines,

If you drive past horses and don’t say horses
you’re a psychopath. If you see an airplane
but don’t point it out. A rainbow,
a cardinal, a butterfly. If you don’t
whisper-shout albino squirrel! Deer!
Red fox! 
If you hear a woodpecker
and don’t shush everyone around you
into silence.”

I want to be with people who drop everything to chase rainbows. Who point out the beauty in our world and who stop to pay attention. When I’m feeling down about how people are acting in the world or overwhelmed by the barrage of news, I’m trying to remember moments like this. The spontaneous rush to search for a rainbow. The heady feeling of delight as we caught sight of the full double arc. The moment when so many of us, after the storm had passed, lingered in a parking lot, enthralled by the sight of those two glorious rainbows dazzling in the sky. Smiling together. Connected.

8 thoughts on “Rainbow Connection

  1. Tabatha says:

    Beautiful, Molly! I feel like I was there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. margaretsmn says:

    I stop for rainbows, too. I have a friend who has lost two husbands and I always take a picture and text it to her. A small way we stay connected and remember those two special men.
    I want to be with people who say horses. Makes me think of being with Leo. He points and says what he sees on our walks. Boat, bike, horse, bunny, gato. (His sitter is Hispanic)

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      How lovely that you send rainbow photos to your friend and remember her two husbands that way. I also love that you connect this with Leo. It’s so true that children help us notice the wonders in our life.

      Like

  3. arjeha says:

    Where we live we don’t often see rainbows. That doesn’t stop us from looking after a storm. Sometimes we are rewarded. A double rainbow…wow!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Chasing rainbows will keep you sane. Thanks for your narrative and pictures which make our world beautiful, indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

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