Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A ten p.m. rainbow

I was having tea with my friend, Darcy, and catching up on three years worth of life at the dining table when she said, "Look out there!"

Here's what she saw. A rainbow so late at night? How unusual!

We called my girls and husband to come look, and spent the next half hour marveling and running out into the rain to get a better view and take a few pictures. It was a bright double rainbow (my camera didn't capture the "double" very well) in the southwestern sky, with pinkish clouds because of sunset. To the east, the sky was a glittering pinky-gold.

The sun sets in Edmonton at 10:07 these days, so we knew we had a few minutes to watch it before it faded. We set our chairs near the dining room window like it was a small movie screen, and continued our conversation as the rainbow slowly faded away. "Is it still there, or just imprinted on our retinas?" Darcy asked at one point. Even after the rainbow was gone we remained at the window, comfortable in conversation.

What's not to love about a rainbow? The refracting of light into many colours through a prism fascinated me as a child. On the prairies, under big sky, I remember seeing lots of rainbows and double rainbows, but here in my city, trees hide them too easily. When Edmonton used to have a High Level Bridge waterfall, a friend and I walked across under the water. When we looked down over the edge of the bridge, we saw complete circle rainbows!

Wasting hose water to spray rainbows into the sky got me into trouble a few times when I was young. Recalling that, I don't scold my own girls for "making rainbows" in the back yard (unless they're inadvertently spraying me). When an aunt gave us a multifaceted crystal to hang in a window, my daughters' delight at finding themselves spangled with rainbows on a sunny day made me smile: "Look, Mommy, I'm a rainbow!" one exclaimed.

If God is light, and I believe she and he is, then a rainbow seems to me a special sign of God's love, regardless of Noah's story. Love in many colours.

I'm glad Darcy spotted this one. It seemed a fitting ending to a day of friendship... a rainbow to embrace us all.

Have a rainbow day!

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