This is the sky above my house around lunchtime today. The sunlight was filtered through thin clouds, creating this circular rainbow.
I was on my way out to run some errands, but I couldn’t help but stop and look upwards for a while. It was beautiful, and I’ve never seen that happen before. Halos around streetlights, but not around the sun.
Understanding the physical laws behind the phenomenon doesn’t take away that extra sense of more. Some things have meaning and impact to everyone, and even regular rainbows are somehow more than just split light. I mean, just look it up on youtube or google, and see how universal our fascination is. I believe they are a reminder of God’s promise not to destroy the world with water again. On a more personal level, they’re a reminder that He won’t drown me with non-water challenges – even though sometimes it’s hard to believe that.
It also got me into that wonderful wondering mood, like many things do (just be thankful most of my wonderings remain in my head!) – are there myths about the ring around the sun? Wouldn’t that be an epic sign? Or a mysterious portent? A doorway, a connection, something evil or righteous? I’m sure someday my Wordslinger critiquers will see a ring rainbow appear in a story.
Even while I was running errands, I kept checking the sky. It stuck around for quite a while, and the colors even brightened a bit before it disappeared. But I didn’t see anyone else looking up. People went about their business as normal, getting in and out of their cars, coming out of stores, and waiting for the bus. Maybe they did see it, and either didn’t care much about it or got tired of looking up. Still, I suspect that if you asked most people underneath the rainbow ring, they would be surprised to learn anything had been out of the ordinary.
It reminded me that to see the amazing, I need to look for it. There are days I am so focused that I wouldn’t notice if the sky turned orange or the grass turned purple. I have no doubt I have missed millions of amazing moments like that ring around the sun. But the world has no end of wonders, especially where we least expect to see them. If we can stop holding so tight to our worries and errands, if we can learn to look and listen and hold still sometimes, we might catch some of the beauty around us.