Have You Ever Touched a Rainbow?

on Apr 26 in Hawaii by David

You know how when you were growing up, they always said that you could find gold at the end of a rainbow?

Well here’s a story of missing the pot of gold once, but finding it in Hawaii. And yes, we actually did find gold at the end of the rainbow.

Here’s my story…

I grew up in the South, mainly in Arkansas (no jokes please, its my blog).

If you live in Arkansas, you know it has its share of storms. And some get down right violent. But as you know, from the storms we sometimes get rainbows.

I remember all of the years growing up in Arkansas that when you saw a rainbow it really made you stop and look. It was a rare sight, beautiful to behold… so you took the time to look before it went away. I never really counted how many rainbows I saw in a given year, but I would say probably a half a dozen or so. Something like that.

In Hawaii, the sighting of a rainbow is completely different. In Hawaii, you will see a half a dozen rainbows in a week. Seriously. On several occasions I’ve actually seen more than that in one day. I can’t say I know the actual ‘weather reason’ why, except to say that because of Hawaii being in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, being a chain of islands with 4,000 foot mountains rising out of the sea, having constant moisture-laden trade winds blowing over them, causing the moist air to quickly rise up and cool off creating a whole lot of rain clouds, which send rain cascading down the other side of the mountain where there is nothing but constant sunshine on them… (ah, take a breath), that might have something to do with it. So having this constant perfect situation for birthing rainbows, Hawaii is literally filled with them. You’ll see them all the time.

And on top of that, it is very common to see double rainbows in Hawaii. This is where there is the ‘obvious’ rainbow, bright and shining, and the more faint rainbow just a little behind it, following the same exact arc as the first one. Another thing you’ll see in Hawaii (although I have not personally witnessed this one, but have seen the photos) is a moon rainbow (some people call them “moonbows”), which is a rainbow at night, lit up by a moon. I’ve never seen any of that in Arkansas… that’s for sure.

Have You Ever Touched a Rainbow?

Let me share a story with you…

When I was in the second grade living in Sheridan, AR I rode a school bus to school. One morning it had been raining some, but the sun was out shining bright. We were coming down the highway, and low and behold up ahead… sitting right smack in the middle of the highway was the end of a rainbow. It was dead center of the highway, and we were headed right for it. The bus driver hollered to get our attention saying “Hey kids look, we’re going to go right through a rainbow!”. Half the kids slammed their faces to the windows on the left where most of the rainbow was planted, right in the middle of a farm field… the other half of us (myself included) were transfixed on the front window, all of us leaning over the seat back in front of us, trying to position our heads slightly higher than the kid in front of us. The final ten seconds or so, the bus was quiet as a church on Monday morning… not a peep out of any kid. Then boom!… just as soon as we touched the rainbow, it jumped. The whole rainbow jumped from the highway out into another part of the farm field on the left, probably a half a mile away. I said we touched it, and most of the other kids said so too (but of course, as life always has it, there were a few who said it moved before we got there… you know, the kids who grow up and become the adults who say the glass is half empty type).

I wondered from time to time for the rest of my life if we really did touch it, or was it impossible to touch a rainbow? When you get older (and supposedly wiser), you learn that the rainbow being where it is has to do with your perspective… where you are looking at the thing from. Fast forward to Hawaii…

One day our family was driving over from Ko Olina on the west side of Oahu to Honolulu. As the weather always is in Hawaii, it was bone dry and sunshine at Ko Olina when we left, but a torrential downpour when we got in closer to Honolulu. As we got closer and closer to Honolulu, we began to see several rainbows in different places… typical of driving from the ‘sunny side’ into the rain in Hawaii. As my family will tell you, I love to tell stories of my childhood, and so the whole carload got another dose of the rainbow story I just shared with you (this was probably their 8th or 9th time of hearing it). Then all of a sudden, dead in front of us on H-1 (Hawaii’s version of an interstate, yes an interstate on an island, but that’s another story for another day) was a rainbow that was wider than all of H-1, both ways. So I started hollering at everyone “Look! Look! We’re gonna run through a rainbow!” Woo hoo!… we’re gonna run through a rainbow !”(I’m a major big kid at heart). And sure enough, this time I would not be denied (whether by fact or by nay-saying negative kids) touching the rainbow. We ran smack through that rainbow, and were actually in it for about 10 seconds.

And guess what, for the 10 seconds we were literally “in the rainbow”… all of the light around us turned GOLD. I’m not kidding. Out every window was bright, gold light. And it was gold, not yellow or something else. It was definitely gold. All of us were hoopin’ and a hollerin’ in the car, and yelling “Did you see everything turn gold?!”. So we literally found gold at the end of the rainbow, and I somehow think that is how the tale of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow came to be. Some other lucky sucker a long time ago managed to get inside one of those, and he found gold too.

True story!


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