Yesterday, my husband asked if I wanted to join him and my daughter while they picked up some wood at a friend’s house. It was rainy, and–although it was beginning to clear–I didn’t really feel like going out. I was almost finished with the book I was reading, so I said that I would skip it.
“Do you think there might be a rainbow?” my daughter asked. I shrugged. It was possible. There had just been a heavy downpour, but the sky was turning back to blue. Still, it seemed unlikely to me. My husband and I discussed that it seemed like we used to see more rainbows. He is from Pakistan, and I am from Texas. We guessed that maybe it was because there were fewer tall buildings where we grew up. Maybe Massachusetts is hillier, and you can’t see the rainbows. Maybe there are fewer storms of the kind that bring rainbows. Who knows? My husband and daughter left, and I went to the couch.
A few minutes later, I got a text from my husband. It was a photo of a rainbow.
And that was when I knew the answer: I don’t see as many rainbows as I used to because I have stopped looking for rainbows.
On my first date with my (now) husband, we were walking through Central Park when a sudden summer shower broke from the sky. We kept walking. It was warm, and we were having fun. There was no need to run for cover. After a while, the storm blew through, and I pointed out that the conditions were right for a rainbow. So we walked all the way to Riverside Park, thinking that there might be a good spot to see one. We didn’t find one that day, but I realized something about the man I was with–he was the kind of person who would go looking for a rainbow with me. That seemed like an important quality.
When did I become someone who wasn’t even looking anymore?
Friends, if you sit on the couch, you have about a zero percent chance of spotting a rainbow. You can’t just expect a rainbow to come to you, after all. If you want to see something beautiful, you’ve got to seek it. If you want to write something meaningful, you have to keep trying. If you want to fall in love, you must go out into the wide world and meet people.
So, next time, I will go along with my family to chase rainbows. The book can wait. The rainbow, as we all know, only shimmers in the sky for a short time. You’ve got to chase it while you can.