It was a typical day in the Pacific Northwest: overcast with spots of rain throughout the day. On the long scenic drive from one of my honey’s favorite annual rituals (an oyster festival) we were enticed with several stunning rainbows.
There are few things that fill me with more child-like glee than rainbows. The whole idea feels more magical than scientific, and kept me wanting to turn the wheel of the car and follow the phenomenal arcs.
Grown-up Pascale knows better. I understand that heading straight into a rainbow is the fastest way to make it disappear. And I understand the physics of light refraction. But still…
There are many things in life that we are not meant to possess. Their pleasure comes from their singularity and inaccessibility. This applies to the twinkle of stars above as well as the extraordinary array of wild and wonderful creatures on the ground with us.
So much of what many people spend their lives chasing – love, fame, beauty, power – are the rainbows of adulthood. No amount of grasping, grabbing, or hunting will bring them into the palm of our hands. Hurtling straight in like a stampeding bull often results in losing sight of the real goal. Then the chase becomes about something else altogether.
It’s a tough lesson, in dire opposition to the desires that drive us.
Reminds me of a period in my daughter’s youth when she needed to have everything in her little hands. Like a broken record, I would remind her that we can enjoy the beauty of some things even better when they are as they were intended to be, instead of in our clutches.
I feel the pull toward the rainbow, and the need to have it, hold it, keep it. But I can’t capture it at all, not even in the pictures I attempt. None do it justice, and as we continue towards home, it moves from sight to memory.
Instead of grieving that the majestic rainbow won’t last long, I can enjoy the gift of its temporary appearance. And enjoy the ride.
It’s a good reminder, nonetheless.