It was even obvious when I was gathering up things to outfit my college dorm room over half a lifetime ago:
I love rainbows.
A stark white comforter with a ROYGBIV too-neatly arced across the bottom half, it lacked any sense of artistic flair. Linens were completed with not only matching rainbow-striped sheets but also two towel sets. It was no political statement or banner for tolerance, just a gawdy display of poor taste. The Me now cringes at the thought of it, but the Me then thought it was the coolest stuff on the planet.
Typical are little girls' adorations: ponies, unicorns, lady bugs, and yes, rainbows, but evidence suggests this was no fleeting affection checked at my youth–
My children may have been taught a rainbow is a covenant from God with a promise for his people, but when they see one…they first think of me.
I love that.
The other day my husband and I decided to walk to the grocery store. This, we blame on having lived in a small town in Germany, in a place where bicycles replace cars and sidewalks teem with people. An early and lasting impression after arriving in the midst of an arctic cold front: ancient ladies shrouded in wool and old men hobbling with canes, all making their way through snow and chill to get from here to there.
Until then, I had complained about getting in and out of the car to drive two miles.
But that was then and now is quite different, and driving when walking is possible seems ludicrous.
Halfway to the store steely clouds rolled in, the sky an indecisive woman. To the east, white cotton candy on blue canvas, to the west, angry slate strokes connecting heaven to earth. In between the scattered stripes I studied the sky, looking for the end-of-rain promise.
Trudging through an uneven grassy field just before we reached the Publix parking lot, a thought escaped my mouth; I really don't think I meant to say it out loud: "One of the things I like about myself is I actually look for rainbows. Sometimes I even drive to the highest hill in our neighborhood to chase 'em…."
"I like that about you, too."
Sometimes my husband really surprises me.
We didn't even rush when we had to walk home in the rain.
I don't like to fly.
That's not entirely accurate; what I'm really saying is I don't like:
- having absolutely no control
- rocketing through the atmosphere in an oversized tin can
- the thought of plummeting to earth in a 60-second death spiral
Also, I'm not a fan of fuzzy-armed, talky men sitting next to me in the summer, when I'm likely sleeveless and he's invariably going to be an armrest hogger.
The actual flying part I'm slowly realizing I don't hate.
Which is impressive evidence of personal growth…or dementia (those who've known me a while will likely wonder who are you and what have you done with Robin?). I'm voting for the former.
After several flight delays, during which I entertained myself by "playing" chess – I just felt like there was a blog post or Important Photo Op there somewhere – we were finally airborne. Though takeoff itself was smooth, a few memories were made I'm sure to remember a long, long while.
Hard laughter is a fantastic memory place holder.
I was already chapters (and conviction) deep into More or Less: Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity when I almost missed it.
Jeff Shinabarger's book had me by the throat, and I simultaneously wanted to speed through to the end and throw it away forever.
I paused to ponder the sentences that were piercing my heart and conscience, absent mindedly looking out the window but not really seeing.
What came into view forced an audible gasp.
I saw something I've never seen before and yet have seen a thousand times. Some would say it's only point of view, but to me it was new, glorious, magical. Divine.
An extra…ordinary miracle.
You might think I'm insane, but I'm crazy enough to believe God gives me rainbows.
Most of the time they're over me, this particular day it was under me,
and that one time, inexplicably, a rainbow was created in miniature right in my own front yard.
For me, a woman who is equal parts confidence and insecurity, strength and weakness, bravado and cowardice, certainty and doubt, knowledge and ignorance–a rainbow-gift is a banner.
Beauty is at its loveliest when we've been given new eyes to see the familiar.