© Lane Erickson | Dreamstime.com
The other day was rainy, windy, and pretty darn nasty, though it wasn’t all that cold. I was inside for much of it, writing and doing household chores. Around 4 p.m. the wind died down, the sun peeked out, and I decided to venture outside. I’m glad I did, because in the eastern sky, rising up like a wide, colorful bridge to infinity, was a stunning rainbow. I stared at that rainbow for a good long while, soaking in its elusive beauty. After all, you never know when you’re going to see another rainbow again.
The next day, I asked a number of people if they’d seen the same rainbow I did, but everyone I questioned said no. They’d been in their offices, or shopping in a store, taking a nap, or at the gym. Not a single person I questioned had seen this remarkable sight. This made me feel rather glum.
But then a strange thing happened, or rather, a few. For one, I took a glorious walk along the Delaware River, and I thought to myself while watching the geese and ducks paddle swiftly by in the cold, rushing water, “Isn’t this almost as good as a rainbow? Isn’t it, actually, sort of like a rainbow, in a duck kind of way?”
While I was walking, I happened upon Elizabeth Gilbert’s fabulous store, Two Buttons, and went inside to warm up and shop for a few Christmas presents. While I was there Jose (aka Felipe), Gilbert’s husband (whose fame is known to those who’ve read Eat, Pray, Love or Commitment) happened by with a bottle of Chilean wine and poured me a taste. Soon after, he brought out bags of fresh popcorn and distributed them to all the willing customers in the store. And again, I thought to myself, “Well, isn’t this sort of like a little rainbow in my day? Getting served wine and popcorn by Gilbert’s sexy (if ‘of a certain age’), Brazilian husband?”
And then I began to think of all the small rainbows in all our days—the hugs from kids, and the phone calls from long-lost cousins, and the unexpected whiff of hot soup on a stove…you get my drift. I began to feel less sorry for the folks who had missed the virtual rainbow, because hopefully, if they are aware and awake, they will see all those other rainbows in their days. Surely, a real rainbow in the sky is an incredible gift. But you don’t have to actually see it to know what a rainbow is.