Last week we had a spectacular double rainbow. It was so spectacular that my husband called me from his commute to tell me to grab my camera and shortly after that a friend texted me to grab my camera because the rainbow was just that awesome!
Unfortunately, my first sighting of it came before these calls and texts and it was as I was walking to the jeep to take my daughter to school. Because that’s how mornings roll, it was already the last possible moment to leave. Normally she takes the bus, but her bus pulls into her school 3 minutes before the bell. With soccer training she has extra bags and those bags must find a home before the bell…and that’s where I enter. Usually looking unkempt, but not in my pajamas in case the need ever arises for me to have to exit my car, I drive her to school earlier. I took two quick snapshots with my phone from the driveway and the rest of the views I just admired on the drive. Before we even finished the 10 minute drive to school, it was gone.
A fleeting memory.
And I am taken back to some childhood memories involving rainbows. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you know that I did not have the conventional “child of the 80’s” childhood. For a while we lived in a converted school bus (yes, a tiny house) on our property in rural South Florida. Our power source was a battery and later a generator. In fact, we would live on that land for 5 or 6 years without traditional power. This meant that things like the TV needed to run on 12 volt.
We had a 12″ black and white TV. I can remember there was a knob on the bottom that you turned to turn it on and control the volume. There was an upper and lower knob that would click as you turned through the stations. We had four channels. ABC & NBC (channels 20 & 26 on the upper knob) PBS (channel 30 on the upper knob) and CBS (channel 11 on the lower knob). Sometimes the stations required a very precise lining up of the rabbit ears to get the station to stay tuned.
Every year, one of the stations played The Wizard of Oz. I loved that movie! When traditional power came along in the mid-to-late 80’s, my uncle bought my parents a color TV for Christmas. I had only watched The Wizard of Oz at home. That year, as we sat and watched it, my eyes were just as enraptured as Dorothy’s as she walked out of her home into Oz. I had no idea all those years that when Dorothy crossed over the rainbow, her world became a technicolor dream.
Going “over the rainbow” was also one of my favorite childhood imaginary feats. Our driveway had a dip where it crossed a ditch. If I closed my eyes while I walked down the driveway, it felt as though I were going uphill and then back down. In my mind’s eye this became a rainbow. My heart would beat a little faster as I climbed that rainbow, towering above the clouds, and then I would slowly come down the other side. Sometimes my brother, or my dad’s sister would join me. When my cousins came to visit they would travel over the rainbow as well.
The question became “What was on the other side of the rainbow?” The answer: different lands. Whatever you could think of, we could visit there. Time has faded most of the memories of where we traveled, but sometimes a pegasus would save our weary bones from traveling down the rainbow. He would meet us at the top and carry us off to the land that we had requested. The wind blowing in our faces as his wings flapped up and down and propelled us forward. When we traveled across the rainbow, it was imperative that we all hold hands, that way we could make sure that everyone made it back safely. Eyes had to remain closed on this journey or the vision might be lost and there was the possibility you would be trapped.
I knew this land we ran across. My feet had covered most of its surface for almost a decade. I have distinct memories of two lands we visited. Dinosaur land and Candy land. We wandered around the front fields of calf-high, dry summer grass, walking amongst the legs of giant dinosaurs. We dashed and darted behind bushes planted in a row along my uncle’s property, hiding from the guards in Candy land, who most definitely did not like humans and did not want us there. Our feet would always find their way back to the gravel on the driveway to begin the journey back to the rainbow. Sometimes we would saunter back to the rainbow. Other times we were on a mad dash for escape.
The air would change at that rainbow. It was lighter and full of magic. I remember the day when it became harder to see the rainbow. How I was disappointed that my mind couldn’t see beyond the dip in the driveway. And one day the rainbow was gone.
A fleeting memory.
Let your light shine!