Entries in rainbow (6)
The sky out my driver's side window was washed in such a fierce orange glow that I wondered for a moment if I had missed the headline about a new forest fire. I was racing against myself to get to the cabin where old friends awaited our arrival. I fumbled blindly for my iPhone so I could try to freeze the sky's furious drama without having to slow down.
My big camera spends a lot of time in my camera bag these days, silently rebuking me - transmitting signals that only I receive about how I'm not worthy or that the view in front of me is too simple or too obvious. My iPhone happily shoots whatever banal scene I point it at, without judgement.
Over me the ominus virga of mountain rainclouds started dropping intermittent sprinkles and the road unfurled past the reservoir in a slick black ribbon. I slowed down a little, mindful of my tires worn down by endless repetitions of this drive. With one eye on the iPhone screen scanning past my driver's-side window and one eye on the rain-slicked road ahead of me, it hit me.
Look to the right.
I gasped when I turned.
The foot of a thousand-watt rainbow, perfectly framed in the passenger window, thisclose. I moved the iPhone to my right hand and snapped. Thank god for the iPhone, which doesn't sniff at cliches or make me second guess anodyne beauty.
Then a directive rose from deep in my gut: pull over.
I didn't want to, but the directive pointed out that if you are thisclose to the brightest rainbow you've ever seen in the middle of the Rocky Mountains and you have a big camera in the back and you can't make yourself stop because it's too pretty, you're probably an asshole. Or if you have the next four days with nothing time-sensitive to do, but you're in too much of a rush to pull over? Again, asshole. Not, you know, politician-level asshole or Wall Street banker-level asshole, but still. Just stop the car. Appreciate what's in front of you.
I may be self-absorbed and stuck in my head. I may think too much, about the wrong things. I may try too hard and have too little to show for it. I may be the queen of white girl problems.
But I'd like to think I'm not an asshole.
I pulled over, got out the big camera, snapped on the wide angle lens and gave myself permission to stop thinking and for once, just shoot.
I have been struggling over the past few weeks to come to terms with a choice I don't want to make. I've tried every angle to get around the disappointing truth of the situation, of not being able to do something I really, really want to do. But as the Magic 8 Ball would say, all signs point to no.
I kind of want to take a page out of Ezra's book and flail about until somebody gets me what I want. But here's the thing: I've been getting what I want a lot lately. A lot. So I'm trying to focus on that. I am trying to really notice all the people and things and situations I encounter daily that are wonderful. I am hoping that if I really experience gratitude for the incredible abundance of juicy good stuff that's going on, my inner toddler will be brought to reason.
Perhaps one of the reasons it's good to have a three-year-old around is that it reminds you that temper tantrums are unbecoming of an adult.
My family came to town this week, towing a trailer loaded with furniture lovingly made in my stepdad's woodshop. We worked with our hands Sunday, sanding and shellacking and assembling. Ez was rapt from start to finish. I was tired at the end of the day.
This landscape makes my heart thump thump, but I get frustrated with the boundaries of my view finder, and my eyes. There is not a wide enough wide angle in the world. But this is part of the lesson: to be happy with what little I can see, and to know that there's more where that came from.
So I try to yield to this one belief: I can have everything I want. But just not all at once.
We've been having insane weather here over the past week, violent electrical storms and torrential rains. (Not that I'm complaining because the tomatoes and basil in the garden look amazing.) Yesterday when the sun was blasting and the rain was coming down in sheets I knew I had to go find a high spot to view the inevitable rainbow.
I sat there taking in this view thinking Double rainbow!?! Oh my god! What does it all mean?!?
Not really. I know this is a totally cliche metaphor, and I try not to traffic in those, but it was a good reminder to me that even the challenges of the hard times can offer us a glimpse of something beyond the darkness. Beauty, even.