Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Rainbow

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. Robert Motherwell

I'm a child. Ten years old on a school trip. Mesmerized by a sight so beautiful my breath escapes me. Thousands of tulips. Michigan tulips. As far as I can see they stretch across a field before me, and fill my eyes with brilliant color beneath a soft blue sky above. Their colors form a rainbow in my mind. Yellow, red, purple, pink, orange, white, all swaying in the warm breeze while the springtime sun sparkles on their petals. I hold my chest and sway with them, overcome with awe at a sight I only dream of in my storybooks. For a while, this incredible sight replaces the loneliness I feel at home. It's nobody's fault at home. That's just the way it is.

This beautiful panorama of color taught me something I've carried with me my whole life. No matter what pain we encounter on our journey, there is always a rainbow somewhere. There have been times when I looked around at my life and saw nothing but dregs of what might have been. Boulders that looked too big to overcome. Doors closed to me forever. Hills too steep to climb. But my mind held the picture of the tulips, and I picked myself up and moved on.

When life throws you a curve, and you think you can't get up, you may not see a rainbow. But the rainbow is always there. Maybe it's just behind the clouds you see in your life, or between rain drops when they fall, or in birds talking to each other early in the morning, or in a child's smile. You may have to get on a bus and take a field trip in your mind to find it. But it's there.

When it looked like the sun wasn't going to shine anymore, there's a rainbow in the clouds. Maya Angelou

Life has a way of putting the difficult stuff right in our face, while the good stuff remains illusive. Maybe that's what teaches us how to be more alert and careful where we focus our attention. Rainbows are all around you. You have to know that. You have to believe that. And open your eyes and your heart to look past the darkness and find them.

I wish you clear vision along your path.


P.S. I keep the beautiful yellow tulips on my computer desktop.


  1. My son-in-law died right before my birthday in early March, so I was with my daughter when the Washington tulip fields began to burst forth with color. Yet it was early enough that the real "tulipers" had not crowded the highways or fields. I walked through rows of tulips, like you say, of all colors and a some daffodils too. The only problem was I was too big to be down in them! So I dropped to my butt and felt at once the majesty of the Divine Florist's creation.

    Now to find a sunflower field!

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