How lucky I am to see rainbows every day - posted in windows and painted on gates, chalked on pavements. They make me smile. I carry their hope and gratitude with me. This is my painting of a rainbow.
Credit: Jason Leung on Unsplash
The making of a rainbow sounds a bit like magic to me – drops of rainwater bending and bouncing sunlight into its secret colours. Seeing one is a lucky coincidence of time and place. Nobody sees quite the same rainbow - each one is personal - but chase as you might (and I’ve tried) you can’t catch them.
Rainbows attract beautiful myths. They're a goddess bridge, for Iris or Anuenue to bring us heavenly messages. A shimmering path up to Asgard. Renewal of a divine promise. The great creator, the Rainbow Serpent, moving from waterhole to waterhole to create all over again. The god of knowledge’s belt. The hem of the sun’s coat. The landing place of a dragon.
It is from the fountain of life that rainbows rise. In old Bulgarian stories, if you walk beneath a rainbow your gender will change. Rainbows are the final state of being before nirvana (imagine it, we might all become rainbows).
They’ve always meant smiles and happy days to me, thanks to the theme song of a 1970s children’s telly programme:
Up above the trees and houses
Rainbow climbing high
Everyone can see it smiling
Over the sky
Paint the whole world with a rainbow!
Little-me learned from a more famous song that Somewhere Over the Rainbow there’s a magical land. I still fly there in daydreams. It is different every time, but always perfect.
To D.H.Lawrence, The Rainbow foretold a bold new world.
‘Dawn and sunset were the feet of the rainbow that spanned the day, and she saw the hope, the promise. Why should she travel any further?’
‘Steadily the colour gathered, mysteriously, from nowhere, it took presence upon itself, there was a faint, vast rainbow. The arc bended and strengthened itself till it arched indomitable, making great architecture of light and colour and the space of heaven…’
Rainbow flags have also signalled new beginnings, along with peace, enlightenment and progress, fellowship and cooperation, harmony, diversity and inclusivity, and LGBT pride.
To William Wordsworth, the rainbow was a reminder of his lifelong connection to nature.
My Heart Leaps Up
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;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
Each time I see a rainbow, real or created, I too feel a little more connected to little-me, and to the world. And I take a little courage from the red, warmth from orange and joy from the yellow, am refreshed by the green, soothed by the blue-indigo-violet. That's why I smile.
My Mr G is busy looking after people. I love him more than cheese and am so proud of him I could burst like a firework.
Love and thanks to his team of absolute flipping lovelies at Nova House. Heartfelt thanks to all the workers who’re looking after our health, care needs, children, safety, transport, mail, essential supplies, rubbish, money, water, energy and news. You’re ace.
Walk on a rainbow trail; walk on a trail of song, and all about you will be beauty. There is a way out of every dark mist, over a rainbow trail.
Traditional Navajo song