On a frigid February morn
dawn breaks through dark
clouds like a billiard ball,
casting aside gloom
with revolutionary pinks
that will not suffer woe.
It is a new day,
shifting now to pale yellow
backlighting black trunks
stoically enduring snow,
ice, wind—alone, the darkened
Yule trees cast on a woodpile
housing mice and chipmunks,
stalwart the maples, the pines,
the spruce, roots resting
under an apricot shawl.
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It seems an odd time of year to be thinking of rainbows, and yet I am. One would not expect to see a rainbow in the part of the world where I live in February, but they’re here if you keep an eye open for them.
At this time of Candlemas, also called Imbolc, many of us like to sweep out the old, the unused, the dust and clutter in the corners of our houses and in the corners of our minds. Cleanse and purify with lavender and sage. Plan our gardens and order seeds. Illumine our lives on Brigid’s Eve with candlelight.
In the U.S., some of us are happy to sweep the former administration, with its disregard for Mother Earth, out the door and welcome the new Biden-Harris administration, already on its path to rejoin the Paris Accord, having already repealed many of the environmental travesties perpetrated in the last four years. We welcome the drive for legislation to address the climate crisis.
We all are ready to sweep this awful pandemic out the door, as well. The faster we can be vaccinated, the better, because the virus continues mutating, stalking the world with evil intent.
All of the above are reasons why I’m happy to see rainbows appearing in my life.
As they are for many people, rainbows are a good omen in my family story. A rainbow has appeared front and center or sometimes in the corner of my eye when things are dark. Oftentimes, their appearance has involved my children—as when my daughter was only days old and overcome by diarrhea—we came to a pivotal night—the doctor said there had to be a change or the outlook was grim. At 9 o’clock the next morning, Mother and I were looking out the big window from our second-story living room in Muskegon, Michigan. A vibrant rainbow spanned the space.
“Oh,” she said. “Could that be a sign?” We were afraid to hope.
Just then, the phone rang. It was the hospital. Our baby had turned the corner. She would be well.
A double rainbow appeared through my windshield at another crossroads. And again, in a prism when sun hit a crystal and my grandson’s life hung in the balance. I knew then all was well.
Lately, I’ve been seeing rainbows again—I’ve been drawing a double rainbow card in my Motherpeace Tarot deck. A rainbow was even tucked into the corner of an ever-changing photo when I booted up my laptop this morning. I’m grateful for the good omens. I also know that not only do I need things around me to change, I need to change as well.
What I am called to change is internal—the courage to have faith.