The Rainbow of Life

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

16 July 2020

I see skies of blue, clouds of white
The brightness of day, the dark, say goodnight
And I think to myself
Oh, what a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people passing by
I see friends shakin’ hands saying, “How do you do?”
They’re really saying, “I love you”

(“What a Wonderful World”, written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss, recorded and made famous by Louis Armstrong)

A rainbow is an arch of colors formed in the sky in certain circumstances, caused by the refraction and dispersion of the sun’s light by rain or other water droplets in the atmosphere. I saw one a few nights ago. But it seemed like much more than a mere product of certain circumstances. It held more wonder and magic than a measly refraction and dispersion of the sun’s light by rain. I think Louis Armstrong had it right. It made me think to myself, “Oh, what a wonderful world.”

My children cheered enthusiastically as the arch of colors formed in the sky. My heart felt a little lighter. A smile spread across my face. And for a moment, all three of us were equally mesmerized by its flamboyant allure.

Moments prior to the encounter, we were outside playing in the backyard when we felt a few raindrops. This may cause some to wrap up their outdoor time, but we aren’t scared of a little rain, especially on a warm afternoon. I like to teach my kids that we don’t always have to run from storms. There’s much to be learned from them.

And even if the short drizzle turned into a dark-skied downpour and negated the potential of the magical rainbow, we would have danced in the rain anyway. We would’ve gotten soaking wet. And then I’d have given them a warm bath with our puddle-jumping spirits raised.

Don’t Expect a Rainbow

We need rain. It feeds our plants and empties full clouds. It’s part of life on planet Earth. Metaphoric rain happens in our lives, as well. We may face trials and tribulations. We may feel like the rain will never end. But it always does.

Sometimes it may last for years. Other times it may be a brief shower followed by a beautiful rainbow. But we need that rain. It feeds our souls and empties our heavy hearts. We can’t always expect the rainbow to come, but many times it’ll show its colorful beauty at just the right moment.

And when it does, we’ll think to ourselves, “What a wonderful world.”

I hear babies cry
I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more
Than I’ll never know
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world