poetry • art • marriage • momhood • faith

rainbow in the rear view

God's promise behind me
[from my ‘real’ journal]
2/14/2008 1AM

Driving home from work today, there was a little rain. As I drove south on 77, right after the state line, the clouds broke enough for the sun to stream through the west side of the highway. That in and of itself was beautiful.

I was singing along with “No Doubling Back” by Jason Mraz when I happened to literally look back. I saw it first in my side view mirror. I confirmed what I’d seen with a glance in the rear view mirror: a huge, vibrant rainbow met the road behind me.

I smiled, enjoying the beauty & the coincidence — the wonderful interplay of the song, the view, and my introspection.

It’s time for me to move forward, [whether I feel ready or not] knowing I’ve got God’s promise behind me.

* * * * *

I have been meaning to post the above journal entry here since it happened a full week ago, but I haven’t had the time to do it “right.” I know, in my first post this year, I said I wouldn’t let not having a picture hold me back from posting, but it felt really important to me for this one. Even if the picture isn’t that great, I really wanted to at least scan the original entry (which is the text in the image).

This rainbow thing has been on my mind pretty consistently since it happened. I was driving home from work, like I’d said. The sky above was dark with storm clouds, and I’d gone through some rain right after leaving work: big, fat drops — not a downpour, but heavy from black skies. But right about where the highway crosses from North Carolina into South Carolina, the clouds broke to the west — the right side of the highway — and since it was about 5:30 PM, the sun was low in the sky and close to setting. Blinding, yellow sunshine shone in through the passenger side window and cast eerily long shadows of the treeline across the road. It was beautiful.

My mp3 player on shuffle, “No Doubling Back” was playing — I think it started right around when the rain stopped. Even then I didn’t grasp the full “coincidence” of the lyrics, but later I looked them up. Some of the lyrics I found to be more than fitting:

I would like to think that you’d know your way
we have dodged the ropes of rain

…I wanna stay wet for a little bit longer…

…I know this ain’t the way I planned it
I guess I ain’t the great romantic

and i’m not doubling back now

no doubling back

doubling back now…

when it rains it’s sure to pour

While my “issues” aren’t romantically related, the fact is, the rain imagery and “no doubling back” lyric echoed my situation quite well.

Well, I was smiling, wishing my phone was a camera phone, singing along to the refrain (since it was a new-to-me song at that point), when I glanced in the side mirror and saw the rainbow. Then I saw it in the rear view mirror. I don’t know about anyone else, but rainbows always raise my spirits. Part of it, I think, ties to the Biblical symbolism — I mean, Noah’s Ark is one of the first Bible stories kids learn, so it’s deep rooted. (And really, for me it’s a Biblical reference, but the flood thing is such a far-reaching myth, touching so many cultures, I believe it really is part of our collective memory.) Anyhow, the other part of it is the simple fact that they’re beautiful. Breathtakingly beautiful. A rainbow, for me, is such an awesome “God experience,” when I feel truly connected with God as Creator. It gives me goosebumps.

So with [the symbol of] God’s promise behind me while I sang along “no doubling back now,” I drove home. I know I have to move forward. I can’t stay where I am. And as nervous as I am about the stuff I need to do, I know it will work out — I’ve seen, felt, the promise to prove it.

* * * * *
I saw another rainbow coming home from work today. It was faint, partial, & very high in the sky, but it was there.

2 Comments

  1. Chucka Stone Designs Chucka Stone Designs
    February 22, 2008    

    Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story! Rainbows are also one of my very favorite natural wonders. I know it is allegedly just light refracted but there is something about the fact that such vibrant color appears through the rain that makes it truly symbolic of the way beauty can shine through in everything no matter what it looks like on the surface!

    Is your need to move forward in relation to the post you posted a while ago about the friends you need to break away from?

    Great song playing at the time as well, another symbolic sign I’m sure. NDB is definitely one of my rotating top ten faves of Mraz. (Because I am a big old dork – I have a firm top 10 & then a revolving top 10 that change occasionally 🙂

  2. Ginger Ginger
    February 23, 2008    

    this is truly beautiful julie, thank you for sharing this.

    i really admire jason’s lyrics and how you can apply so much depth to them for many different situations. he’s so spiritual and such a genius and i’m thrilled that you got to have that experience.

    whatever it is you’re moving on from, you’re right, trust is all you need to know everything will be okay. you’re always taken care of and never alone.

    good stuff…

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torch bearing quietly

I will not act out, will not
yell or curse or slam doors,
will not make a scene -- you
do not deserve such a chance
to make an example out of me
to be proven right since you
are not. Instead, I'll stand
at this street corner, raise
my hand high and clench that
light which yet remains. It
will burn brightly, quietly,
fiercely before fading as I.

Then I'll be gone but found.

©JAC 2005

Poetry by Julie Ann Cook!

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Love Like Weeds
by Julie Ann Cook
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