Monday, December 23, 2013

A Christmas Rainbow

78 degrees on December 21st, my husband, daughter and I decided to go to the beach for a stroll.  What else do you do when God gives you this on the winter solstice?  Sunny, squinty bright, everyone smiling, thankful for this gift of unexpected warmth.  As we crested the wooden ramp that took us over the dunes to the beach, a white mist rose from the sea at the same time it reached down in pockets from the sky.  It was as if the sea also was celebrating a reprieve from winter.  A low cloud enveloped us, wrapping us up like a Christmas present.  The mist moved in and out, opening up for warm sunshine and then closing up around us - back and forth, back and forth.

We walked North, telling stories and catching up, half-heartedly searching the sand for shark teeth.  A half mile later I turned around to notice my daughter's best high school friend, also home for the holidays, walking with her mother a few steps behind.  
     "Look," I said.  "You're not going to believe who's behind us."  The two girls, young women now, grins spreading across their cheeks, ran to each other, embracing upon impact.  

We continued our walk, the two girls off to the side, heads together, really talking about what they want to talk about, the two mothers talking mother talk, and my poor husband now out of the loop, along for the ride.  

Another half mile later, it started sprinkling.  I felt it first on the back of my neck.  What had been a glittering white mist behind us had turned in to gray clouds.  The rain fell, heavy and warm, big drops of bath water pouring down on us.  As we began to run, heading back South to through the rain to the car, an uncontrollable laugh erupted from my mouth.  Joy.  

Only moments later, the rain stopped, the downpour over, and we turned back around to look to see where the rain had gone.  A bright double rainbow stretched across the beach, low and wide, filling the entire horizon.  A Christmas rainbow I will long remember.

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