Under the rainbow

While her dad and I worked in the garden, fixing the wind-battered shed, Hollie sat at my desk, watching the fish in the aquarium and drawing me a picture. We had just been looking at some photos of her father at a similar age to her own five years and Hollie has begun to understand both the ageing process and that life is finite.

She was sad to hear that the big fish with the wiggly nose had passed away, crossing the rainbow bridge, falling foul of some unknown ailment from which I could not save him. He is not the first fish she has known me to lose and the idea of death now seems to hold no terrors for her. I hope that life and experience do not mar her simple acceptance… it makes a big difference to how you live your life.

One of my earliest memories is of a death-bed… a scene from another era, with a great grandmother, dressed in pristine white, breathing her last in the big four-poster and surrounded by a family that had gathered from all ends of the country to say farewell. I think that was what did it for me… there was no fear, no sanitised mortality, no hiding of death from a child, no grief beyond loving tears… it was just part of a natural process and I have never had any fear of death or the dead.

Hollie didn’t seem fazed by the idea either, as she filled the paper, edge to edge with colour. She drew me, laughing as she did so, and her dad as a small boy, placing us under a rainbow in a green garden with flowers. When she realised that her dad was the treasure at the end of the rainbow, she thought she ought to draw him a treasure chest.

The picture is full of light, colour and joy… even the fish are smiling… and I can’t help smiling back. I wish I could draw with such freedom; like it or not, adulthood constrains us to at least attempt to follow ‘the rules’ and conform to accepted standards. Children see the world with a clear and uncomplicated vision. We like to think we, the grown-ups, are their teachers. Sometimes, I am not sure that is the case at all.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
This entry was posted in Art, children, Life and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to Under the rainbow

  1. Violet Lentz says:

    Beautiful piece and I so agree that there is much to be learned from the innocence of children.


  2. cindy knoke says:

    Such a happy child artwork.


  3. kittysverses says:

    Lovely drawing and a tremendous post, Sue. Well said. πŸ™‚


  4. Darlene says:

    My fridge is covered with wonderful pictures like this. How wonderful!


  5. fransiweinstein says:

    What a sweet story Sue. And I agree, there is so much we can learn by looking at the world through the eyes of children.


  6. That’s why I love working with kids. πŸ™‚ Hollie’s picture is wonderful. ❀


  7. Sadje says:

    I love her drawing and hope you have imparted wisdom in simple life truths.


  8. Simple and deep at the same time:)


  9. willowdot21 says:

    Children are beautiful, they see life and death as it truly is πŸ’œ


  10. Goff James says:

    Sadly it is the child within us that we have lost. The colours have have metamorphosed into shades of black, white and grey. Children have always amazed me by their resilience and comprehension of death and adversity.


  11. Kids can indeed teach us, even though I don’t have any of my own.
    I was with my Dad when he passed away, holding his left hand whilst Mum was holding his right. I am glad I was there, for her, and him, so that neither were alone when the time came. I could not say goodbye to my Mum in the same way , but saw her in the Cgapel of Rest on the morning of the funeral where I put in four red roses, a note from me and two dog biscuits, then kissed her cheek. Hubby described her as looking comfortable. I saw my Mum, thinner and older, but the mother I loved who looked so much at peace.


  12. TamrahJo says:

    Beautiful!!! I awoke this morning to a news feed that had me musing on parenting and childhood, too – and feeling better about the day ahead now, after my own trip down memory lane…. πŸ™‚


  13. Oh, the lessons we learn and the wisdom we gain from our little ones…


  14. Eliza Waters says:

    Such a joyful gift! ❀ Hands down, Five is my favorite age. πŸ™‚


  15. Widdershins says:

    Those fishies are having a fabulous time πŸ™‚ … love the treasure chest. πŸ™‚


  16. acflory says:

    I think my first experience of death was when a kitten I loved died of some feline disease. Back in those days it never occurred to my parents to call a vet.Not even sure if vets treated small domestic animals in the late 50’s. I made a warm nest for the kitten in the garden shed and tried to look after it with food and water, but it died. I think I’ve hated death ever since. :/


  17. Jennie says:

    This is delightful! Children do see things in an uncomplicated way, with hope and joy. When parents and grandparents support that frame of mind, and treat life and death as a natural process, they are giving children great strength. Hollie’s drawing says it all.


  18. macjam47 says:

    A beautiful story, Sue. Children often teach us in the most unexpected ways. Hugs, my friend.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.