I allowed myself the luxury of sleeping in this morning, not rising until 7:30, which is late for me. We had stayed up until 10:00 p.m., which is, again, late for me, waiting for our son to return safely from the movies. I had been up twice in the night to check on him when I was awakened by his coughing. Fortunately, there was no vomit to clean up either time. Yesterday, I had not been so lucky.
It's now 11:15 a.m. I am still in my pajamas (or at least what I call pajamas) and I'm sitting on my as-yet-unmade bed. There is a pile of clean towels heaped on the end of the bed, waiting for me to get up and fold them. Or not. I don't think they really care one way or the other. Student writing is spread out next to them, having just been graded. Had I not promised my students to give them feedback on their writing prior to the district writing assessment this week, they would probably still be neatly clipped together in my bag. Through my closed bedroom door comes the sound of water filling the washing machine as a load tumbles around and around. There are more loads waiting their turn.
There is also a whole house needing to be dusted, vacuumed, scrubbed, and polished. Which explains, I suppose, why I am still sitting here, secluded in my room, putting off the inevitable. Pale sunlight streams through the half-open shutters. The skies are overcast, a bluish gray that I am sure some paint company has a fancy name for, but which is only known as "blah" to me. Even so, I wouldn't mind blowing off my enormous to-do list to be outside and running free.
I don't know if it's just by some random happenstance or not that the rainiest season of my life has coincided with the rainiest winter we've had in a long time. I thought we were past the gray days of rain, but more is predicted throughout the week ahead. So, no, it looks like we haven't earned our spring just yet. Just yesterday, in fact, a somewhat freak thunderstorm unexpectedly sneaked up on us.
"I think I just saw lightning," my husband said as we got out of the car at my mother's. "Did you hear thunder?"
"I thought it was just the wind," I said, and struggled to sweep the hair from in front of my face so I could actually see where I was going.
The clouds, dark and ominous, were still there when we left twenty minutes later. When we got home, I happened to glance out the sliding glass door in our kitchen. Arched across the sky was a radiant rainbow.
"Jack! Jack! Come look at the rainbow!" I called to my son in the other room.
For a few moments, my husband, son, and I all stood in awed silence, witnessing one of nature's most beautiful spectacles.
As I stood there, I thought about the story of the rainbow being God's promise to never flood the world again. Maybe that's true, maybe it isn't. But as I looked at that rainbow, I did see it as a promise: a promise that even after the darkest and stormiest of weather, the sun will reappear and prove that there is still plenty of beauty left in the world.
So, as I sit here this morning, I think not about the storms in my life but all the rainbows that I have been blessed to witness. Because, truth be told, the rainbows have outnumbered the storms by far. There have been hard times and there will be more hard times, times that threaten to yank my heart out of my chest and crush my very soul. But there will be days of sunshine and days of wonder and days of bursting happiness as well. There will be simple little moments of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet made all the more beautiful by the passing dark clouds.