“Come quick!” Athan called me to come out of my office, “Come and see this!”
Through the arch of our terrace I could glimpse the sea and there it was. The prismic brushstroke of a rainbow. It was thick and brilliant. Lustrous and begging us to come and see it in its fullness.
Under lockdown here on Aegina Island, we quickly SMS’d number 6 for “exercise”. There is no number for witnessing wonder.
To the sea! We hurried down the outdoor stairs, letting our bright blue metal gate clang behind us as we left the gravel lane and hopped down the cinderblock step onto the path that crossed the field. Athan was running before me with the slice of rainbow leading us forward like the eastern star.
Not wanting to miss a minute of this fleeting miracle of light, we followed the neighbour’s wall toward the lane as we tied our masks around our necks ready for potential COVID inspection. I called to Athan to stop and turn around so I could snap a picture of his bad boy bandana – the rainbow shimmering behind him.
Like little kids we raced between the jasmine hedge and fig tree reaching toward one another, past the stand of pampas grass softly waving in the breeze, by the lemon tree we have been patiently watching, heavy with nearly ripe fruit, down the bit of road deeply rutted with the season’s rains, around the corner, along the white stucco wall protecting an empty field and then down the sloping dirt road and out onto the rocks reaching into the sea.
With each turn, the rainbow revealed more of itself until there, carefully balancing on the mossy rocks damp with yesterday’s waves, we saw the whole glory of it. Straight out in front of us the prism reached into the sea disappearing into the emerald waters. Arcing skyward it reached across the damp grey clouds highlighting a shining white church perched on a tiny island before the sparkling colours dove into the sea again.
Awe. Yes. Awe. Jaw dropping, eye widening, heart pounding awe.
It was the biggest most brilliant rainbow I had ever seen. The sea beneath it was every colour on an artist’s pallet of what sea can be in its every mood. Celadon, aqua, emerald, teal, cerulean, ultramarine. And dazzling above, diffused red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. And as we took videos, panos and stills, and merely stood by moments, the second bow pulsed in and out of vision as it tentatively reached over the first bold brother.
I could feel the misty rain on my face and felt my smile broadening as the child in me let the magic penetrate my eyes into my very being. Beauty for the sheer sake of beauty taking up the whole sky. There for whoever might happen to see it. Ephemeral, a moment in time. Timeless really.
While the rainbow stayed, I would stay and witness. Just be. Standing tiny under its majesty, I saw my shadow in the water. I was there, one with the sea and the rainbow and the rain and the rocks and Athan and a lone swimmer barely visible in the dark sea beyond.
Me agapi (with love),