I awoke suddenly this morning, a couple of hours earlier than usual, and, perhaps, invigorated by the clean air, I felt inspired to get right to work at the computer.
Thankfully, it had rained last night. When I lived on the East Coast, the overcast sky would have seemed to me like just another gloomy barrier to the sun. But we are still in the in the wake of the Southern California fires, just 10 days ago. The battalion of soot in the air seemed to march on forever, relentlessly leaving its footprints on flora and fauna, cars and windows, and lungs.
Sayre Fire, 10 am PST, Nov. 16, 2008. Photo: Meryl Ann Butler
So this morning's welcome clouds felt like a gentle cradling by the heavens, a toweling dry after cleansing the smoldering air, polishing it up like a crisp, shiny apple. Each breath felt like an "inspirational" delight.
At about 7 o'clock, just a few moments after settling at the computer, out of the corner of my eye, my attention was caught by a sudden, strong burst of light in the valley.
And I was perfectly positioned to see a parting of a veil, revealing possibly the most amazing rainbow of my life, conjured by magic from some enchanted realm, merging heaven and earth on the nearest hill.
The rich blaze of color shone out of the grey morning like a burst of celebration, rising Phoenix-like, from the ashes of the valley, and pulsating with light, and hope, and promise. And the phantom spirit of a double rainbow danced, just barely visible, among the shadows; coyly inviting a pondering of further delights in the beyond.
I gasped, mesmerized by the vision, and basked in the confirmation of joy. And in seconds, the wash of color was gone, leaving behind the imprint on my soul.
Seeing extraordinary rainbows was not an unusual event for me when I lived in northern Arizona. The altitude, sudden clusters of rain clouds, and brilliant sunshine all conspired to make rainbow sightings fairly common, albeit spectacular, events.
But a Southern California rainbow is a rarity.
Still basking in the beauty of the glimpse between worlds, the next email I opened was one from a friend I haven't heard from in many moons. It bestowed wishes of angelic prosperity, and pictured an image of a sweet cherub casting down blessings from above. No doubt those blessings are landing right on the next hill, drifting happily into a shiny pot of golden abundance - one which seems to be blissfully overflowing in these moments.
And luckily, because my camera was at hand, I can share this morning's rainbow blessings with you: a harbinger of appreciation on Thanksgiving Eve, and a reminder to me that there are some things worth waking up early for!
Morning rainbow in the valley, Thanksgiving Eve. Photo: Meryl Ann Butler
To see my 11/16/08 article about the fire: click here
In moments like this, i find myself in deep appreciation for my high school English teacher and mentor, Lee Smith, a literary lighthouse who deftly cajoled me (I'm chagrined to report, kicking and screaming, some of the time!) into more and more interest and experience in writing, a man to whom I owe a cheerful debt of gratitude.