As we were driving along, Mikayla looked out the window and saw a double rainbow in the sky. She was so excited and I must admit that it was beautiful! She couldn't believe that there were two rainbows right together. She made sure that she pointed them out to all of us. And we each took a moment to admire them.
I love rainbows, and have wondered what causes them. I can never see them without smiling. I love to watch the wonder in the eyes of the children as they gaze at a rainbow. I found out that weather conditions, specifically rain followed by intense sunshine, are all that is needed to produce these glorious displays of arched color.
A rainbow, scientifically explained, is a spectrum of light formed when the Sun’s rays shine onto water droplets in the Earth’s atmosphere. The result is an arc of intense color of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.
And why might you ask, is the rainbow always in the shape of an arc? It’s because the Earth’s atmosphere is curved. While rain is the most common form of water forming a rainbow, a light mist can also produce the same result. (I remember my days as a child in the sprinklers making rainbows to run through). To me, the most interesting thing about a rainbow is that it doesn’t exist in any particular location. It is the position of the observer in respect to the Sun’s location that makes it visible.
Think about that for a minute. In order to see a rainbow, you have to be in the right place at the right time. That’s what makes seeing them so special. It is something that I can see, and my neighbor, a few houses away might not see the same thing.
Have you been fortunate enough to see a double rainbow? It is an amazing sight. It is a sight that draws you in. It almost makes you look. It begs you to take a second glance and than maybe even another. It is so unusual to see. I don't recall seeing a double rainbow before. This was my very first one, so I knew that it wasn't an everyday event. I just had to come and use my trusty computer to look up the reason why we see rainbows, and especially, a double rainbow.
I learned that double rainbows happen when the sun is shining very brightly and the rain clouds are very dark. A second, much fainter rainbow will be seen above the normal rainbow. The colors of the second rainbow are the reverse of the first rainbow. I did not notice the reverse colors in the rainbows we saw, I wish I had known to pay attention to that detail. I had to learn that from a book, but it is an amazing thought.
I can now see that my life is, in and of itself, making the conditions for a spiritual rainbow. We all have clouds and sun, rain and shine in our journeys. We each have trials that make the way seem hard. They block the blue skies of pleasure from shining each moment. The rain of tears can seem to block out the spring and make you feel like every day is a winter of sorrow.
" Life is like a Rainbow; You need both the sun and the rain to make its colors appear." Those arching colors always signify promise. The rain will end. The clouds will fade away. The sun will shine again.
We might be given the rain, but it is up to us to let the light shine through the clouds of our lives in order to make all the colors appear. After the trial, comes the blessing. After the storm, comes the rainbow.
When we have both sun and clouds in our life, we have the opportunity for brilliance!
“No vision and you perish;
No ideal, and you're lost;
Your heart must ever cherish
Some faith at any cost.
Some hope, some dream to cling to,
Some rainbow in the sky,
Some melody to sing to,
Some service that is high.”
―Harriet Du Autermont
Today, may you seek and find, your rainbow! (And I am hoping it is one of the amazing double rainbows that I love!)