“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” ~ Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
I hear his words but barely, they’re traveling though fog, mud, weary ears. “Mom, there’s a rainbow in our front yard.”
Working on a deadline, my laptop is growing from my fingers. I’m perched on a bar stool in our kitchen, my favorite writing spot in our home because it’s the heart of where we live. Our front yard is behind me but I’m facing the back. If I bothered to look over the counter I’d see our shiny but ever-smudgy oven then our kitchen table, and out the large picture window, an ivy waterfall spilling over a red brick wall, and then grass and trees and eventually a fence that hides my neighbors. It’s storming outside.
It’s storming inside, too.
This has not been a good day, the kind that makes my eyes leaky faucets. Intermittent tears flow, sometimes for good reason and sometimes for spite. I feel crazy.
I wonder if it’s my age. The upper side of mid-forties has been Dickensian–
— Best. Worst. Wisdom. Foolishness. Belief. Incredulity. Light. Darkness. Everything. Nothing. Despair. Hope. Heaven. The other way.
Life’s journey encapsulated in a few words, brilliant, succinct and in perfect cadence. I wish I could write like that.
This day has brought the kind of news that hurts; not death or disease, nothing as serious as that, but the little blows that bully and bruise the heart.
The rain ministers to me, a persistent, percussive splatter. Thunder captures my soul’s expression…furious, brooding, dark and intense, but soon it will pass.
I’m lost in more than thoughts and words when he repeats himself, louder and insistent, “Mom! There’s a rainbow in our front yard!”
My despair is a heavy shroud but the edge in his voice cuts through the haze and compels me to turn around and look.
I’m stunned. There’s a tiny rainbow in our yard, 30 feet from my front door. I look to my right and I see its end melting into the place where woods meet grass; I look to the left and it disappears into the opposite forest. I imagine that’s where the gold lives.
I didn’t even know baby rainbows existed!
It felt like Christmas morning and I was seven–wide-eyed, giddy, overwhelmed with goodness. I grabbed my camera just in time to capture two images before my rainbow faded from view.
Tears filled my eyes, a g a i n, but for a different reason this time, because I…knew…
This was my rainbow. A gift. A generous, very-kind gift from God.
I almost missed it, this miracle in my front yard. But I’m convinced God was patiently waiting for me to see it, to enjoy it with someone who would delight in it as much as me, someone else who would see the miracle. The Divine. The gift.
At the very moment I felt forgotten and unworthy, God showed me otherwise:
I am known and loved.
Soli Deo Gloria.