Every afternoon, at precisely the same time, a rainbow appears on the door to my laundry room for just a few fleeting minutes.
Sean was the first one to notice it. We stood and admired the rainbow as it dipped and danced its way across the door with some invisible partner. But as quickly as it appeared it began to fade. Within a few seconds it had dissolved completely and was gone.
The next afternoon, the rainbow arrived again just as quickly and as quietly as it had the day before. We played in it, dipping and waving our hands in the shimmering waterfall of color. But before I could get the camera, it had slipped away again.
The next day, we were expecting it and quickly traced its route back through the breakfast room into the living room where the sunlight was slipping through the pine trees in just the right way, through the windows and past a crack in the shades in just the right way and then through a prism of glass on the coffee table. In just the right way. And all of that because the sun was positioned over the earth in just the right way.
It seems to me that that is the way it is with remarkable and beautiful things in life — rainbows, flowers, children — the rare and impossible come together in just the right way at just the right time, golden for just a bright and shining moment, and then gone.
In a few months, the earth will tilt imperceptibly, but in just the right way so that the leaves will begin to turn brown and flutter to the ground and the sliver of sun that peeks through my living room windows and past a crack in the shades will look elsewhere, through different windows. And this season of afternoon rainbows will be over.
And another remarkable and beautiful season of life will be on its way.