Several afternoons this past week we experienced spotty thunderstorms in Sarasota, which is pretty normal this time of year. There’s been a line of threatening grey set against a line of gorgeous blue as the sun begins its slow descent. I’ve found myself walking outside searching for rainbows. If I’m being completely honest, on one of the days I even hopped in the car and drove around searching for this phenomenon that frequently paints the Florida sky. I’ve been disappointed each day that I could not find one.
All of the explanations as to where rainbows appear and about the refraction and dispersion of light through water seem to be just beyond my grasp of meteorological science. Although I’ve been fairly certain the necessary components and conditions have been in place for a rainbow to be present this week, there’s not a rainbow to be found. I get that the sun has to break through the rain, but our perspectives seem to be a big key to observing the beautiful prisms of light too. After all, we have to be looking up and towards the proper direction for a rainbow to be observed.
Why am I searching for rainbows? There’s probably not one single perfect answer to that question. I am still having a mad love affair with Sarasota. Almost 3 years later I’m still shocked that I live in the state I’ve dreamed of my entire life. I don’t want to miss a single minute of the beauty that surrounds me. I still run to sunsets if the sky appears to be staging something spectacular, pull the car over to snap a picture of delightful scenery, and drive down random roads just to see if they lead to the water. Simply put, for years now I have practiced stopping and soaking in, well, Florida life.
Beyond the natural beauty though, I’m searching for rainbows because they signify a promise. They are promises that come after a storm. The storms of life often make us cower and run for shelter. Although rain is ultimately life-giving and therefore full of hope, we don’t like the discomfort of being wet and/ or the threat of something worse happening (for instance when our curly hair takes over!) But looking up changes our perspective. That’s where rainbows appear. They are draped in the heavens, somewhere between the light and the rain, to give us a whole new picture. Rainbows are curtains of color displayed for the promise of hope, newness, and ongoing life.
I guess you could say that I’m searching for rainbows because I am a promise seeker. It’s also been said that dreamers chase rainbows. I guess I’m a dreamer then too. I’m simply a promise-seeking-dreamer. Storms are frequent in my life, just like they are frequent in Florida this time of year. I’m looking up to the heavens and holding onto the promises, instead of cowering to fear; I’m seeking truth that comes with the new rain, instead of focusing on inconveniences; I’m dreaming of what’s ahead for my family, instead of focusing on the complications that threaten to wash away our hope.
I’m searching for rainbows because I’d rather be found with my eyes looking to the heavens for promises rather than running from the rain. Admittedly, I might not completely understand the science or even be looking the right way. But I’m always going to keep trying, seeking, looking, hoping, and searching for the promise of life. Sometime soon the conditions will be right and I will be looking just the right way to spot a rainbow. I still hear rumbling thunder. There will be one crossing my path again soon, I just know it.