Yesterday I returned home from a trip back to Rochester, the Land of Pain. I was able to spend most of one day with my son, and am grateful for it but wished for more. DiDi's daughter stayed with us the three days we were there, which was a blessing. Time with friends and loved ones was also good.
But the place itself is a complex mix of love and pain.
Perhaps over the years that will change, but for this first trip back, we could feel it driving in, a cloud hovering over the region.
Dark. Threatening. Intimidating.
The cloud followed us as we drove back out of town a few days later, the darkness infiltrating the car and our hearts. It clung for hours into the trip. Almost the whole way home in fact.
But as it began to withdraw, somewhere around the middle of Massachusetts, our amazing God blew the rest of it away.
Real storm clouds loomed, the gray sky full of rain to come. And into this gray promise bloomed a rainbow. At first the colors were tepid, weak, uncertain. As they came into focus, a second rainbow began to appear in an outer arc, this one bleary as the first had begun.
They remained in view for at least 10 minutes. The first bow grew more saturated until we could see the separation between colors distinctly. The ordinarily blurred flow from indigo to blue became tangible. When we came to a part in the trees, we could see the bow in its entirety, the two ends touching the horizon.
It was breathtaking.
We took picture after picture with our phones, wishing for a real camera, amazed that the rainbows lasted so long and changed so much. Eventually we stopped trying to capture it, and just watched the main bow fade as we continued driving east, the secondary bow remaining insubstantial but still present.
The show seemed to be almost over. And that's when the miraculous happened.
It looked like we were getting closer and closer to the weak rainbow, which I didn't think was possible. After a minute or two, we saw the left end of the rainbow touching down on the road up ahead. We watched it grow larger as we approached, until it was just a few car lengths away. The van in front of us drove through it as if it were a curtain of light; you could see the spectrum travel over the metal. Then we also drove through it, and the light washed over the hood and disapeared behind us.
It was amazing.
Incongruous. Beautiful. Inexplicable.
Maybe even impossible, depending on which website you read. Wikipedia says that someone standing at the end of a rainbow could not see it.
But that doesn't change anything, because it happened.
As you can imagine, the rest of the trip was different. Astonishment jolted us out of our spiritual and emotional miasma. Our laughter and joy returned. We arrived home a bit later, light of heart.
We left Rochester, driving away from what had become a center of heartache and pain, bringing some of the darkness that clings there with us. And for some inexplicable reason, He washed us with His light and love.
Because that's just who He is.
that is too amazing for words. very cool.
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