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The Death of a Rainbow

11-26-20 | Joseph E. Reid


I saw a rainbow die today. It was not an easy thing to watch and, at first, I had to rub my eyes to make sure what I thought I saw was what I was actually seeing.

I was driving north in my FedEx truck early one morning. There was a light drizzle coming down and the sun was tearing through pockets in the sky. I looked up and thought I saw a rainbow, but, no… it must have been my imagination. Until, there it was again. Fading in like a slow motion magic trick in the sky. A rainbow forming right before my eyes.

I’m the kind of guy who likes to take snapshots with my mind. I see things like the birth of a rainbow and categorize it quickly in my head as something beautiful and a blessing to have seen. I mean, who gets to see stuff like a rainbow being formed right before their eyes?! It’s moments like these that I am reminded to take a deep breath and be absolutely present wherever I am. If you look hard enough, wherever you are, you can usually see the wonderful somewhere. We get busy. We get stressed. We are emotional creatures driven by a lot of different factors depending on the day. But the more often we take the time to acknowledge beautify when we see it, to pause and say “Yeah, that’s beautiful,” the more, I think, we will be able to actually see beauty where others may pass it by without a second glance.

This happens a lot when I driving. I see a lake that feels like the cover of a postcard. Or I see an older gentleman pushing a cart and think I’ve just witnessed an image from a painter’s masterpiece collection. It’s so easy to give our attention to tasks and worries. But when we turn our attention to the present, not what needs to be done or what might happen if this or that, then we can realize the beauty that exists eternally in all things wherever we may be.

I saw the rainbow in the sky and felt like the richest man in the world. My heart burst with excitement to be so privileged to see such a spectacle. And then, the rainbow died. It faded away. I thought it would be back, but no. I watched the sky, but it didn’t return. My heart broke. It was there for maybe 15 or 20 seconds. Such a short life. Even then, I knew I saw something amazing. To see a rainbow fade away like that…what an honor! My heart was sad, but sad isn’t ugly, nor is it bad. It’s just, well, sad. These emotions we have when we see the beauty of life or experience the tragedy of death are all part of our story. They are all important. They are all beautiful. But you have to sit with these feelings. Be honest about these feelings. They are your truth. They are YOU. And the more you acknowledge the feelings when you see the beauty and awesomeness around you, the more you will begin to see the beauty and awesomeness within you.

You were astounding when you were born. You drew attention. You brought tears of joy and astonishment. Then you lived. Struggled. Fought. Overcame. Lost, but kept going. And one day you’ll die. And that death will be a tragedy for those who love you. But there will be people who saw you come and saw you go and will realize the deep honor it was to see such a spectacle of wonder in the life you lived. How wonderful it will be if we all could just find moments in each day to be captivated in the beauty that is formed and disappears constantly before our eyes. Our lives are a privilege. And beauty is really just a choice. Choose to see.

So yeah, I saw a rainbow die. But I also got to see it live. See the beauty. It’s right there!



Written by Joseph Reid

Founder, Broken People

joe@broken-people.org

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