Several years ago, a friend gave me a little book. He said “Read this when you’re feeling blue and I’m not around to talk to.” The book was If You’re Afraid of the Dark, Remember the Night Rainbow by Cooper Edens. It’s a beautiful little book, written for children I think, with fabulous illustrations by Cooper Edens also. The book starts with the fanciful lines “If tomorrow morning the sky falls…have clouds for breakfast.”
I love this book. I love the illustrations. And I thought that the words expressed were sweet and fanciful and lived in the land of imagination—especially the “night rainbow.”
Imagine my astonishment Sunday night when I actually saw a night rainbow! And it was truly magical.
We had a big storm Sunday evening—as we have done for the last two or three weeks almost every day. It started around 7:30 pm. The sky blackened, the wind picked up and the rains came. Thunder and lightning filled the air. This lasted until about 9:10 pm. Then suddenly, all became quiet and the sky and the air lit up with the strangest light. It wasn’t the usual green that warns of a tornado. It was an eerie purplish rosy green twilight. The sun had pierced through the western clouds, but not completely. It was still covered with a haze of gray clouds and the black clouds floated above. Yet we were inside this mauve bubble.
I went to the door. The neighbors across the street came out on their porch and pointed to the eastern sky and said “Look!” I ran out and looked back, and there was the night rainbow! A real rainbow, seen through the misty mauve at 9:15 p.m., with darkness outside our bubble.
It was magnificent. And unreal. And it filled my heart with awe and joy. I pulled out the little book and reread it. Thought of my friend. Thought about what is imagined and what is real and what we know—and how all those things are also seen through a misty haze so much of the time.
I went to bed happy, remembering the night rainbow.