Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – August 24, 2004
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – August 24, 2004 – If there is anywhere in the world where it might be possible to find a stray pot of gold – I do believe it would be at the end of a rainbow. Rainbows happen all too infrequently for my liking, when atmospheric conditions, usually rain and sunshine appear at the same time.
Particles of moisture go dancing off with sunbeams and the result is a spectacular, visual treat for whoever happens to be watching. I think a rainbow should be considered one of the wonders of the world, certainly on equal footing with the spectacular Northern Lights.
When I was a child, our family home was set back from the highway on top of a hill. There was a circular driveway at the front of the house, and at the base of the drive there were two magnificent beech trees about ten feet apart. My father strung a green and white striped hammock between the trees and my brothers and I loved to take turns lying in it. We had a rope tied to another small tree, so we could rock the hammock back and forth without ever getting up. My mother could watch us from living and dining room windows of the house.
We three were playing on the hammock one day when I was about six years old. It was a humid summer day and without warning, it clouded over and rained quite heavily, even though the sun was still shining. We ran to the house for cover and just as quickly as the rain shower started – it stopped. My brother Mike who was 7 was looking out the dining room window as Eric and I sat in the kitchen with Mom.
He came running into the room and grabbed me by the hand and yelled, “Everybody – come and see”. The rain had stopped but water droplets were streaming off the leaves and puddles dotted both driveways. We trooped into the dining room, looked out the window and then ran outside.
A perfect, tiny rainbow was spanning the distance between the two big beech trees just in front of the hammock. Because it was so small the rainbow’s colours were dense and pure. We tore down to the bottom of the lane and skipped back and forth under the rainbow, squealing with glee and trying to touch it. I so wanted to put a piece of that rainbow in my pocket. After ten minutes the strength of the sun started to dissipate the rainbow and it gradually faded and disappeared. We sat on the damp grass after it was gone, hardly believing what we’d seen.
Mom told us that fairies sometimes put pots of gold at the end of a rainbow and we looked to see if we’d been lucky, but we found nothing. She then said, “How many little boys and girls in the world do you think have ever had their own private rainbow?” We had no idea. She whispered, “This was a very special day and it’s one you’ll always remember. If any of you are ever feeling sad and lonely, just think of your rainbow and know that the fairies will never let anything bad happen to you”.
Whenever I see a rainbow, I think of that memorable day and the beguiling rainbow that belonged to my brothers and me for a few magical moments in time. Most rainbows are huge, pale arcs that span the sky – then fade quickly and disappear. For whatever reason we were given the gift of that rainbow as children.
As we got older, whenever it rained my mother would say, “Someone had better check to see if our rainbow is back”. Of course, it never was. The hammock finally aged and was taken down, but the thought of that special afternoon with my mother and my two brothers is still as fresh as the day it happened. Perhaps the pot of gold at the end of our rainbow is the beauty of that wonderful, childhood memory.