"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Promise

Just a couple of days before our recent stretch of clear cold, I found myself driving into blackness on the way home from school. A storm had passed before me, a big one that soaked us as we walked kids to buses and that left the asphalt shiny and hissing. At one point the road and sky seemed to blend together.

We often get storms like this in the summer and I'm oddly energized by them. As light and dark battle it out across the sky I feel more alive, like I'm watching Creation unfold. I also know that rainbows are inevitable, and none are ever more vivid than at the juncture created by the passing storm.

My mind is always a jumble after a work day. As hard as I try, I can't leave the kids or the problems or the to-do list at school. Worse, every instance where I might have been kinder buzzes and bites like a mosquito with a vendetta. If I'm lucky I can clear most of it by the time I've gotten home and walked. If I'm not so lucky, I lug the whole load through a restless night and back to school the next day.

So the storm and the search for the rainbow were a welcome distraction on this day. A reminder that summer, both literal and figurative, really did exist, and will come again. As my eyes scanned the sky for color, the world expanded beyond school and my own limitations. When I first spotted a section of the vibrant arc in the distance, one end touching ground far away and the other swallowed by darkness, I smiled.

I drive home on country roads. At that time of day I often have them to myself. That made it easy to slow to a creep from time to time and scan the sky. I wasn't disappointed. The other half of the original section touched down right where my eyes searched. And before too long the color stretched up from both sides to meet in the middle, forming a perfect and complete arc. There was even a shadow of a second rainbow mirrored above the first.

The miracle of color at the intersection of light and dark never fails to fill me with wonder. I'm reminded of God's promise to Noah, but somehow that seems weak compared to the promise I feel with every rainbow given to me. And they all do feel like personal gifts.

As I continued my drive, and the storm traveled ever eastward, the rainbow danced and wavered and shifted. I lost it completely at one point. A little farther on it reappeared much closer, a short section, the bands of color fat and distinct. I realized I was driving toward it, wondered if I might go under it—or through it. A golden glow on the asphalt just ahead caught my eye. The rainbow ended on the road right in front of me. And it stayed there while I drew close and drove through, and then it was gone.

In a life abundant with grace and miracles, it's easy to take gifts for granted. Always to recognize them, and always grateful, but perhaps to not appreciate fully the love behind them. Often forgetting when the darkness threatens to overwhelm that light always returns. And so the Giver of gifts offers a moment like that one, with a rainbow just for me, promising to light the way unfailingly.

15 comments:

DJan said...

Oh, Deb! That is such a gift, and that you captured it and shared it with me right at this moment, when I needed it badly. I am uplifted, not only by the picture, but the words, and the promise. Blessings to you in this season of light and dark. Sending you lots of love. :-)

Richard Hughes said...

In something that some people would ignore or not give a second thought to you've found meaning. That is being alive.

Keicha Christiansen said...

Recognizing and taking the time to fully appreciate life's small moments of grace and beauty and not getting bogged down by negativity seems to be a theme in the blogosphere today. Thanks for reminding me I'm not alone in my challenges and to appreciate life's small gifts.

Terri Tiffany said...

I really loved this picture. I don't think I have ever seen the end of a rainbow. Thank you for stopping by my blog the other day! I always look forward to chatting with you in cyberspace.

Barb said...

Deb, How special was that! I love the photo. It seems that when I see rainbows they are so fleeting, but a few years ago, when I was visiting in Oregon, a rainbow lingered over the ocean for quite awhile. I was enthralled as you describe by its magical presence. You'll soon be on holiday break - enjoy the quiet time.

Sandi said...

I love that you have considered rainbows a personal gift, as I've always thought the same thing! You really made me think about those gentle gifts, the ones that are there often, yet somehow taken for granted at times, almost like we feel they are owed to us. But, that's not true, those little gift moments are just that, gifts - perhaps of remembrance, or a lifting of spirits, or the realization that we aren't alone, even though we often feel that way, despite being surrounded.

Driving through the rainbow - wow - amazing! That has to be a super special gift! I love how you notice so much around you, Deb, and are able to write about what you see and hear and feel so eloquently. You are truly a treasured gift to me. :)

Donna said...

If a writing style can be called " gorgeous" , yours should. You write so beautifully! And I'm echoing the sentiments of D Jan, such a gift and I needed it just now. Facing a Christmas surgery and possible spread of my cancer, the promise is especially poignant. Thank you, Deb, and happy holidays !!!

patricia said...

You are such a precious gift with your reminders of nature's message to our human lives that get too busy and too complicated to stop and look and think. Love you.

kario said...

Beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

deborahjbarker said...

A wonderful photograph. I feel I shared your drive with you Deb. Thank you. There is something about a rainbow that lifts ones spirits and reminds us that we have so much to learn.

Mark Lyons said...

I love the word picture that you drew for us. And...I love the healing that I can find in your words. I'm glad that God gave you your own special rainbow as a reminder of His constant and unconditional love for you.

I love you sweet sister.

Mark

Retired English Teacher said...

This photo is truly beautiful, but the writing is even more beautiful. We recently saw a double rainbow on a day that was bitter cold and snowy. I don't remember seeing a rainbow on such a day before. We do need those promises and color on these days, don't we?

Deb Cushman said...

You are the gift of gold at the end of the rainbow to all of your friends. As one of those friends, I feel blessed.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

The way you describe this event reminds me of how much I treasure each rainbow that ones my way.
thank you for this beautiful reminder of what we have if we take time to accept the treasure of its beauty.
Here's hoping it helped to relax a bit all those bust thoughts.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

The way you describe this event reminds me of how much I treasure each rainbow that ones my way.
thank you for this beautiful reminder of what we have if we take time to accept the treasure of its beauty.
Here's hoping it helped to relax a bit all those bust thoughts.