Thursday, March 5, 2009

the rainbow connection...

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
--William Wordsworth

driving to school: an ordinary wednesday.

the deluge of rainstorms seemed to have ceased for a bit, and off in the distant horizon i could see patches of blue sky and sunlight making their stealthy entrance through the clouds. as usual, i was just trying to get to school as fast as i could because i never get out the door quite as early as i need to. so there i was, zooming down the 101, trying not to get frustrated with the drivers, since i figured 7:05 am was a little too early to get irritated.

suddenly, i gasped. " oh! look! a rainbow!" i said out loud with the surprising innocence of a little girl. a rainbow? really? was i that excited about it?
indeed i was.

i found myself wanting to drive faster and faster so i could get closer: intoxicated by this ephemeral phenomenon. as if right on cue, up floated a memory from 26 years ago (goodness, that makes me sound so old!) that i was sure had been buried for so long, it was forgotten...

i was about 5 years old, coming home from swimming lessons on an afternoon that resembled this slightly overcast, rays-of-sun-peaking-through-clouds morning. i looked out the window and saw it. a rainbow, and we were heading straight towards it! i wiggled with excitement. a rainbow. how i loved them. i loved to draw them and imagine what it would be like to be near one. what magic did it hold? what wonders would i be able to experience? oh how mysterious and lovely they were!

i held my breath, barely containing my excitement as we moved closer and closer. now, in the mind of a 5 year old, very few things are more exhilarating than possibly getting this close to a rainbow. and then, as if dreams were coming true, we were there! we actually drove through it!

could it be true? did it actually happen? did we run over the pot of gold? where were the fairies and the magic dust or the secret portal to take me to a land of wonder and enchantment? alas, none of that occurred-we were still on our way home, with that beautiful rainbow fading in the distance behind us. i slumped down in my seat, disappointed, confused, and a bit sad. i suppose that was about the time when i started understanding what rainbows actually were, compared to what i had imagined them to be.

however, today, that small, curly-headed 5 year old me, was reminded of the magic she once believed in. that fleeting love affair with rainbows had actually never vanished. those fascinating, fickle illusions proved that there is a little girl still inside of me. a part of me once presumed lost, continues to exist. that same little girl believes those rainbows are magic, she just believes it in a different way now, she understands their true meaning.

after darkness. after storms. after all that is difficult and obscure. there stands the rainbow. radiant. colorful. inspiring hope.

so as i stepped out of the car, i silently sang:

"Why are there so many
songs about rainbows
And what's on the other side
Rainbow's are visions
They're only illusions
And rainbows have nothing to hide
So we've been told and some chose to
Believe it
But I know they're wrong wait and see
Someday we'll find it
The Rainbow Connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me..."