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Storms and Rainbows

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Late yesterday afternoon, storms attacked the Upstate. Hail, wind, and rain pounded trees, homes, and businesses. Leaves and limbs littered the ground, and hail piled up on roofs. The driving rain slowed traffic, and standing water puddled in yards and on roads. Scattered tree limbs littered and waited for pick up.

Those menacing clouds warned us of the fury that was forthcoming, but there was nothing to do. They towered over us in shades of black and gray. Yes, drivers slowed down. Playing children sought indoor games, and people ran to close car windows.

Lasting only minutes, there was concrete damage.

But then came the rainbows. From various places in the county, men and women posted pictures of rainbows; some were beautiful double arcs of color. From the reds on the outer rims to the violet shades inside, the seven colors brought light and brightness back into the skies.

The Irish leprechaun’s secret hiding place for his pot of gold is usually said to be at the end of the rainbow. This place is impossible to reach, because the rainbow is an optical effect which depends on the location of the viewer.

My brother and I used to beg Daddy to find the end of the rainbow, and sometimes he would go along with our desire to find that pot. It was amazing to us how the rainbow moved away from us until it finally disappeared.

Artists include rainbows in their paintings. “The Rainbow” is an 1878 oil painting by American artist George Inness, located in the Indianapolis Museum of Art, which is in Indianapolis, Indiana. It depicts a rainbow arcing across the sky after a storm.

Inness, George – The Rainbow – Google Art Project.jpg

In Genesis 9, as part of the flood story of Noah, the rainbow is a sign of God’s covenant to never destroy all life on earth with a global flood again. I believe in God’s love for mankind, and a rainbow affirms His glory. It leaves me with a gasp in my heart.

When I was in sixth grade, my teacher required us to memorize a poem each month. One we memorized was by William Wordsworth called “My Heart Leaps Up.”

“My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.”

From childhood to manhood, rainbows bring the poet joy. As the speaker says, he wants to hold fast to the wonder he had of rainbows as a child. I believe I do, too.

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