Honoring The Rain(bow)

longfellowAgainst my better judgement, I stepped out into the rain.

It was cold and windy, but my run wasn’t going to do itself – it was either this or the treadmill at the gym. I don’t like the idea of running and not getting anywhere – at least this way I would have a change of scenery even if the weather was less than pleasant.

I ran down the familiar path as the rain picked up and dampened my hair. The path turned to mud and upon my descent and subsequent ascent up a steep hill I noticed the Sun was low on the horizon; fervently trying to clear the clouds even while aggressive droplets poured forth from the sky to stain my coat. Struck by how these elements were combining to create a perfect storm, I petitioned the heavens and asked to see a rainbow.

And my goodness, did Divinity deliver!

Seconds after my silent request, I crested the hill to seek refuge under the overhang of a neighbor’s small roadside shed – I turned my back and spanning end-to-end was an incredibly vibrant double rainbow! The backdrop of sky behind it was slate grey, making the colors explode in contrast. Gratitude swelled in my heart for the privilege of witnessing such a miraculous sight – I wish I had my phone on me to take a picture, but as it was raining when I left my house I thought better of it. It was not just one, but TWO rainbows – Ask And Ye Shall Receive!

But the icing on the cake was on the return trip: As I neared home, the sky opened up on me once again. I was within sight of my abode when trailing through the trees I spied the multi-hued arc of another giant rainbow encircling my home -TWICE blessed was I! Such a fortunate omen at the start of a New Year!

Though this story is a literal retelling of events, I was thinking about how it is also very metaphorical. There is beauty and value in exposing ourselves to the elements and venturing out into inclement weather. In submitting to the storm, we bless ourselves – how else would be come to know the special kind of beauty that can only be revealed to our eyes under such adverse conditions? Spiritually speaking, many focus on Light to the exclusion of Shadow – this approach has never resonated with me; the idea that we can Ascend without first Descending. That positivity is the only Way and that it must equal the absolute denial of negativity.

I believe in balance. And I believe this with all of my soul: There is value in seeing the gathering storm on the horizon of life and choosing to go out into it anyway. I didn’t pretend I was going to be warm, comfortable, and dry – I knew that I would be uncomfortable but that it was also ultimately going to be good for me; body AND soul.

Boy, was I right.

My interpretation of my own spiritual Path involves soaring directly into the tempest with hopes the powerful air currents therein propel me aloft; particularly so that I may lift others up with the strength born of wings that have weathered many a storm. I will not preach down from upon high like some Buddha-on-the-mountain; I will be right in the thick of it *with* you. I do not seek to invalidate others’ feelings or experiences through lecturing/shaming them about “darkness” or “negativity” – I honor the Rain as much as I honor the Sun.




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