Death of a Rainbow

We only receive one hour of light this weekend and spend it watching a rainbow die. Sadly, Aki the shortsighted can’t see the arcing band of color but she is still enriched by the hike through these mountain meadows. She is all nose to ground for smells.

As residents of the rain forest, we are forced by circumstance to appreciate the subtle beauty of grey.  We also thrill by unexpected sunshine appearing after a rain shower. Each simple gathering of dead meadow grass merits preservation in a digital format.  Today, even before the rainbow’s birth, sunlight flooded the meadows beneath dark low hanging fragmented clouds.  Columns of spruce trees marching up the mountains bridged the sunny meadow with the cloud obscured mountain ridges.

When I am already snap happy from this mixture of lights and darks, the rainbow appears as a faint swipe of color over the meadow. Even in infancy it challenges me like the richest item on a dessert cart. I turn away from it and walk into a light flurry of superfine snow. Each tiny square flake reflects a prism of light and I wonder if I am walking through another rainbow. The flakes must evaporate before hitting me.  I can’t feel them on my skin and they don’t moisten my black rain gear.

When Aki barks at something behind me I turn and see the rainbow now a strong arc of core colors stacked on top of each other. For the next twenty minutes, as it pulses weak and strong, I try to capture it with the camera first as a streak of color fired from a forest cannon. Later, when the trail moves out of the woods and onto a meadow, only the right rainbow’s half appears arcing down from the clouds. It dies on the meadow, pulsing strong than weak then strong again until fading to nothing.

The rainbow was not a live thing, just a mixture of moisture and fickled mountain light.  You don’t morn a rainbow, just the departure of it’s beauty.

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