Thursday, April 16, 2015

Heaven on earth

"Can I ask you something?  Why do you live in Eugene?" the younger colleague asked when I went to recruit her for a series that I am working on.

I am used to this question, and I have a standard spiel.  After reciting that, I added, "like today, I enjoyed an awesome rainbow when driving to work.  It was just awesome!"

I might be old, ancient, but tell me there is a rainbow in the sky and I will dart out of the room faster than a kid will.  Back when I really was a kid--yes, I once was--and later even as an adult, there were always two things that stopped me if I ever spotted them in India: elephants and rainbows. I would watch the sashaying pachyderm for as long as it was within my view on the street. There is something majestically wonderful about elephants.

Rainbows were rarer than elephant sightings.  A rainbow is magical.  Yes, there is that dull boring science that explains what causes a rainbow.  But, rainbow is not just some science crap.  Even after the physics teacher, Vasudevan, had presented us with the explanation of white light and Newton's experiment with the prism. The scientific technical details made it all the more impressive.

After moving to Oregon, in the rainy early fall, and throughout the spring days, I have now probably seen more rainbows than I have in my entire life before-Oregon. Yet, every time, I am impressed even more than ever.

A rainbow.
The colors.
How it changes by the minute.
Sometimes it is in full from end to end.
Other times it is broken.
Sometimes it is bright.
Other times it is faint.

Every once in a while I see a double-arc rainbow, and that is when I think there can't be anything better than this--neither here on earth nor in the imagined heavens.

Thankfully, I know enough, from my years on this planet, not to talk this much with a colleague whom I had just met.  I stopped with "it was just awesome!"

Sometimes--only sometimes--I think to myself that during one of these April showers when the sun also shines through, and when there is rainbow across the darker sky, maybe the ultimate would be to watch an elephant walk through the green, green grass, while the tune of "elephant walk" also plays :)

That, dear reader, will be heaven on earth!

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