The Obvious

In a terrible mood on Friday afternoon, I’m driving too fast through town when I round a corner and see a rainbow spread over Hardwick.

The arc shines so brilliantly and near I imagine I can reach out and touch its particularly vibrant green. I pull into the Village Market, and a woman I know gets out of her car, wearing a mask, too. For a moment we stand there, marveling, then walk towards the market door.

Another woman — vaguely familiar to me, in the way of small town Vermont — is loading her car with groceries. My companion and I urge her to go see the rainbow; it’s just a few steps around the building.

She shakes her head, saying she can’t see it.

But we insist and walk those few steps with her. The rainbow by then has morphed into a double arc. Then, as we watch, the rainbow fades.

Over her mask, the woman looks at us and says, “Well, that’s a nice thing after all today. Something good.”

October 5. So much more winter to come. Watch for rainbows.

It was the Rainbow gave thee birth,

And left thee all her lovely hues;

“The Kingfisher” by William Henry Davies

14 thoughts on “The Obvious

  1. Looking at your photo and thinking that one of the things I miss about the east is the personality of the cemeteries. It seems like very few out here are as inviting as a New England graveyard. Thanks for the memory.

      • Intimate is a good word. The only such place I have found out west is the Fort Rock Cemetery in eastern Oregon. What got me there was the crushing poverty; a coffee can filled with cement and a name and age (4) etched in the top, and a cross made of sticks and twine. The homesteading of dry basins was a disaster for the poor.

        The fires around here are out (thankfully). The smoke blows in from California some days still. We are looking at some “real rain” (over an inch in a day) Saturday, which should put out the local fires north of us. Which is the usual end to our rather small and swift leaf season, but this year I don’t mind. Hope your winter preparations go smoothly.

  2. Years ago, driving home from a pumpkin patch, my wife and both kids asleep after our long afternoon of pumpkin picking and hay riding, I drove seemingly directly at the end of a rainbow. When I arrived, the rainbow truly ended right there at the ground on the edge of the road. The air, a couple of feet off the ground, glowed in a brilliant cacophony of color. Hallucination? I don’t know. but one of the coolest things I’ve seen.

  3. I think we all have a rainbow story! My mother and daughter and I had just attended my niece’s baby shower. On the way home, we saw an immense double rainbow, so clear we were convinced we could find its end and reach out and touch it. We had no idea where we were driving, but we chased it through the scattered rain drops, and the largest rainbow came to rest in a field. My daughter ran out into the field, and I got a lovely shot of her standing at the end of the rainbow. We laughed so hard because my niece was having twins and we took this as a great sign.

  4. Know that place well- I just didn’t remember the back was brick. Beautiful spot at any time of year! A lot of history inside that building, and probably more than a few rainbows over it 😉

  5. Lovely🙂. It’s interesting how people end up with memories of rainbows so deeply etched in their minds. We can hardly mention the word rainbow without my one son, reminding us of the time we saw the “perfect” double rainbow that seemed to stretch directly over the animal houses at a small zoo. It was one of those wonderful fresh, summer evenings that just made the memory of a hot, hectic afternoon at the zoo disappear.

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