After the Rainbow

September 22nd, 2009

Saturday afternoon was calm and peaceful, but the sky grew darker to the south. Rain coming I thought, gladly, since we really needed it. And then a rainbow appeared in the east as the sun moved downard through the western sky. It was beautiful, brightening and growing larger until we saw the entire arc across the clouds. The young boy danced and smiled, and wanted so badly to go and chase the end of the rainbow to find the gold. He knows it’s just a story, but that doesn’t change the wonder and amazement of the imagination.


Finally the rainbow faded as sunset came, and we looked west to see the light still upon the sky, between the clouds, with nightfall ahead. The boy raced to get his paint set and sat on the hill shouting for some gray paint. Mix some black and white I yelled back, and he painted for a time, trying to capture the stirrings in his heart and the pretty sky after the rainbow.


And then the rain came.  That’s a first for me… to enjoy a rainbow before the storm instead of after.  It was time for supper too, as the raindrops made splotches on his paper. He didn’t want to come in, but we finally picked things up and came in for the night. He’s still working on his picture. 

As for the rain, it seems that I spoke too soon the other day. I would have gladly shared our dry weather with some of you… instead it appears we got some of your rain. The forecast was around 30% for showers. The rain after the rainbow drizzled on and off throughout the night… almost perfect.

Almost… and then the heavens opened up at first light and we got five inches of rain in less than two hours.  With predictable results… the pond came up over two feet very quickly, rushing out the spillway and the watershed flooded everywhere. Down the road, a drainage pipe was completely lifted and washed out of someone’s drive. Our gravel driveway, which only required raking a couple times this year, was totally washed out toward the dip in the middle, leaving over a ton of crushed and larger rocks washed over the side down the slope.


It doesn’t look too bad in the pictures, but the ruts were 6-8 inches deep and well up the other slope too.  Little car tires can become easily damaged by such terrain.  Where the water is pooled to the left of the drive is a drainage pipe, overwhelmed by the volume of water.  For a few minutes it topped over the driveway, and then gravel washed into that dip, pouring off the driveway. 

So yesterday included a half day of seat time on the tractor trying to get it back in shape, along with a couple hours of hand raking and shoveling.  Not on the list of things to do, but it needed doing.  If this is the kind of rain you’ve been having further south, then I understand your frustration. Time to get out the paddles…

All part of life right? Hope for the best and prepare for the worst… the saying goes.   Maybe, but I find that a bit defeatist.  Sure we need to be prepared,  but with divine or other providence, as each may believe,  we can try to focus on what makes our lives worth living.  I find it enormously helpful to have an abiding faith and belief that things will work out just fine.  

So prepare for the best, hope for the best, and do your best… enjoy the glad days and the moments of beauty.  Appreciate the rainbows when they come.   Sometimes it’s after the rainbow that our challenges appear. 

And that’s okay too.

10 Responses to “After the Rainbow”

  1. R. Sherman

    The downside to gravel roads.

    I don’t think we got as much rain, but it’s still moist and gray. I could use a break with more fall sunshine.


  2. Ed

    I have a friend further south of you that has a driveway several miles long. In order to keep it from washing, they put in humps along the driveway in the steeper sections so that the water gets slowed down and is funneled over to the ditch before it has a chance to wash away the gravel. It works well but limits your speed to around 10 mph whenever you cross them. They aren’t very tall as I can get over them in my low slung car but tall enough to do the job.

    We had a two week stretch of no rain but have been getting it again. I’m hoping it is dry from here on out so that the farmers can get their crops out. But the way this year has gone so far, I’m not optimistic.

  3. Well, more sunny side – I guess you’ll get plenty of exercise re-raking the gravel!

  4. OOoooh, now I feel bad that I wished you some rain in my last comment! I didn’t mean like that! It is still raining here but not heavy (just constant) so not much damage.
    And yes, I think you have to take your rainbows whenever they appear; and always keep your eyes open to them. I wonder sometimes if some people choose not to see them.

  5. Vincent

    It seems only to be places that do not get all that much rain that have serious problems with it. It is a bit like here in Ireland we have living here some friends from Vermont. I called for a visit as I happened to be going into town on the 4×4, this happened a few winters ago. Now the Met people had described the conditions as being Blizzard and for us it was, given we rarely see snow for more that a day a year. But when I called to my friends to see if they wanted canned goods et al, had my kind query with hilarity. You see there was little more that a few inches, and they had anti their car and had shaken the chains out of the packing crate.

  6. Beautiful rainbow — I’m sorry for all the work you had to do afterwards, but the beauty of that picture will give you pleasure for a long time.

  7. Randall- I’m ready for those sunny, crips fall days too!
    Ed- That’s a great idea… ours is not quite long enough perhaps, and it’s only once or twice a year that I seriously rake it. This was unusual- I hope we don’t see storms like this one again. Our farmer’s crops are about half out now- they had to take a break for a week. Hope your folks’ crops come out well…
    Warren- I sure did… my shoulders are sore! The good sore…
    Annie- Well I asked for it, didn’t I?! Be careful what you wish for they say… Good point about rainbows- I’ve always wondered about people that choose not to see the rainbows in each day, or about people who simply don’t know how…
    Vincent- Great point… we become accustomed to our weather here too. Being from Vermont, your friends were used to a lot of snow! We tend to stock up on things a bit in advance of winter weather…
    Edelweiss- Thanks, and you are so right. It was our first rainbow this year by the way :)

  8. Vincent’s comment reminds me of my years up north in Minnesota. To them it was just a slight flurry if there was less than a foot of snow and winds under 40 miles per hour. My first week up there, I could not see the street from the sidewalk just a few feet away and I drove around with a sheet of ice on my windshield with plate sized clear spots for almost a month! Sometimes I long for another winter like those just so I don’t begin to take our southern Iowa ones for granted.

  9. Vincent

    The giggle about the Vermont friends is that the alpha female is all of 4’10”, who somehow manages her mate and three boys, all above 6′. Who at this time kicked slush and ice at all and sundry and at a speed only slightly less than the normal.
    Seeing a tiny person throwing a car at corners like the thing was on rails with four giants grinning with glee is an image of Irish family life that I will take to the grave.

  10. Ed- I just remember winters in the ’70’s as being much colder and snowier. As for what you described… please keep it up there!
    Vincent- That’s too funny! What a memory…

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