Last night, my partner and I stepped outside to go for a walk. Literally, the moment we closed the door, it began pouring rain. We exchanges glaced, shrugged, and started walking. Having both grown up in the desert, we love any form of weather.
As soon as we turned the corner around the house, we noticed an incredible double rainbow spanning the length of the sky. It was so massive, we couldn’t capture the entire sight in on shot. The phenomenon lasted for just a few minutes, disappearing and reemerging as we viewed it from different angles. I stood staring up in awe as droplets of water crawled down my cheeks and pitter-pattered on my hood.
We called family in the vicinity, but no one else could see it. It was our small and fleeting slice of heaven.
Rainbows occur naturally after the rain. As the light passes through droplets of water, it refracts and exposes the seven colors of white light. But what’s interesting is that rainbows don’t always form after foul weather. This makes the rare occurrence even more special.
It’s fascinating to consider that the brilliant rainbow appears when everything is seemingly dark and gloomy. After, or in the midst of, a thunderstorm, a vibrant ribbon is draped across the sky. There are no rainbow on sky-sky days.
Depending on who you talk to, rainbows may symbolize any number of things.
In Celtic folklore, a leprechaun hides a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Grab a handful of the shiny stuff and you’ll be bestowed with fertility, good luck, and second chances.
In Norse mythology, a rainbow is believed to be the bridge from Earth to Asgard, the home of the gods. It is referred to as Bifrost and is guarded by Heimdall, the watchman.
In ancient Greek culture, the rainbow was personified by the goddess Iris. She was a messenger with gold wings, forging a connection between heaven and earth.
The Native American Navajo tribe view the rainbow as a bridge, they view it as a multi-colored spirit serpent that only the brave get to ride.
In Chinese culture, rainbows are seen as the manifestation of a spirit animal–a double-headed dragon acting as the mediator between heaven and earth, where one head hears out the earthly prayers and intercedes by relaying them to the other head that points to heaven.
Japanese myth mentions the rainbow as a floating celestial bridge that allowed the divine ancestors to descend from heaven to earth and form land from troubled waters.
Commonly, seeing a rainbow during a time of turbulence and misfortune in life can signify that good things are about to come, and the situation will turn around.
When our loved ones and pets pass, rainbows may perceived as bridges to the afterlife
When I sent my mom a picture of the rainbow, her response was, “God’s Promise.” In the Old Testament of the Bible, Noah, his family, and many animals were kept safe in the ark. After the nonstop rain ended, a rainbow appears to reassure humanity that no flood will ever destroy the earth again. In Christianity, the rainbow symbolizes mercy.
All that is to say, when you see a rainbow in the sky, it should be viewed as a symbol of fortune and new beginnings after a period of hardship or pain. Just as the rainbow appears after the rain, believe that you will see great things happen in your life too.
Perhaps then, to see a double rainbow is a call for hope after dealing with a crisis of faith. Whether spiritually or otherwise, it is a sign to take stock and reestablish your values.
After a tumultuous year, I think this was just the sign I needed. The year to come will show up graciously, bearing many wonderful gifts. And I will be ready, with wide eyes and open arms, to receive all the goodness life has to offer.