“I don’t know why but when it rains, it rains on me. The sky just opens and when it rains it pours. And I look up and a rainbow appears like a smile from heaven, and darling I can’t help thinking that smile is yours.”
There is something great and wonderful about life that I have just realised. Rainbows are truly splendiferous, magical things. When I was a kid, rainbows were great, but they became so clouded by the apocryphal story of the troll (or was it a leprechaun?) and the pot of gold, that it was as though the actual rainbow didn’t even enter into the equation any more. I would notice a rainbow and immediately think to the myth. The image, the reality, was secondary.
My strongest memory of a rainbow was on one of my birthdays (unfortunately the year specifics have blurred into each each, and probably the separate days too, although I can still remember piecemeal celebrations). I was playing tennis at Blackburn Tennis Club and, being late December (and not Christmas day, and the 1990s), the weather was perfect. The sky was a rich expanse of blue, without a cloud to be seen. But as I reached up to lobby a ball over the net I saw a rainbow in the sky — against all odds, as it had not rained for days, or weeks, or however long. At least not that day, and the rain and sunshine meeting was the only way for a rainbow appear. Still is, to my knowledge. Needless to say, as a rather precocious child, I believed that rainbow appeared just for me, on my birthday, regardless of its earthly/natural presence. And this only added to my growing sense of abandon towards rainbows: now I had my own special memory, they no longer mattered.
But in the last few weeks, where Melbourne has experienced quite a few rainbows (and double rainbows!), I have developed a newfound respect for them. No, respect is not the right word. It is something beyond appreciation. For the phenomenon of a shooting arch of a multicoloured spectrum across the sky is not an unimpressive one. At least to the unscientifically minded, like me, as I have no idea really how light and air and other things work……clearly. But, rainbows truly are great. I promise to appreciate them forever more.