I drove into a landscape lit by a rainbow, with crows and kites wheeling overhead, their wings carrying them into the light. I remembered the legends and stories associated with those ribbons in the sky that seem to emanate from all cultures… the pot of gold and the problematic three wishes, a promise from the divine or the bridge to another world.
For some it is a bridge between the worlds, a celestial highway that links past to present, human to Divine. For others it has been the bow from which the lightning is fired… arrows of the gods that carry their Will to earth. To some the Rainbow Snake is the Creator, bringing both life and death.
Whichever way you look at it, the rainbow has held a mystery for mankind as long as we have raised our eyes to the sky. The mixture of light and moisture from which it is born, our inability to ever reach the rainbow’s end as well is its sheer beauty have given rise to so many stories. Yet all seem to share common themes beneath the symbolic tales, speaking of a communication with a higher level of being, the transcendence of the barriers that seem to exist between human and divine.
Matter is Light, stepped down into tangibility.
Another common theme is the inherence of both life and death. The Bible, for example, tells the familiar story of the catastrophic deluge and the covenant that leaves God’s promise to Man arced across the sky. Looked at from a very basic level it seems that we have often used the rainbow as a symbol of divine catabolism, which seems a rather strange concept until you start to think about the fact that nothing can come into being without a breaking down of a previous form and that in the beauty of that cycle we can see the hand of the Divine.
Seeds born of fruit are consumed by the tree to which they give birth; a forest floor dresses in wildflowers when the tree falls and the light comes in; creatures busy themselves amid the flowers and the fallen leaves, making their home in the fallen branches… living the dance of the seasons until the fruits fall and the seeds find their way to earth.
For me, this dance speaks not only of divine choreography, but, like Noah’s rainbow, sings a promise across the worlds that even in the darkness of seeming destruction there are the seeds of possibility. This morning the rainbow seemed to have its ending over the village and I choose to take that as a gift.