Of Clouds and Coincidence?


I’m in a hurry to write this morning after the hard rain of last night and the view out my train window just as we pulled into the station. I searched for someone to corroborate what I saw, but the person beside me was deep into Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde; the person directly behind had in earbuds; and others all around were doing what makes the train sometimes seem like a living room: pouring over open books, heads bobbing to music, and general but quiet chatter.

I usually am working on the laptop until the final minutes of our morning ride, but today, I don’t know why, I’d closed the computer and was simply looking out the window. I cast a glance to the sky, and suddenly I was transfixed: a mostly transparent cloud hung in the sky BUT it had enough moisture, with the strong sun behind, to be filled with the rainbow spectrum. Most full of shades at the bottom, the colors then moved up the cloud until they could barely be seen at the white whispy top.

I considered asking the people around me, “Hey, do you see that cloud with the rainbow inside up there in the sky?”  But in the end, I just gazed myself, and tried to catch glimpses of it as I rode the little bus around the tall buildings and out to my stop. When I got out, the sky was completely blue, and the cloud had vaporized.

The physics and the science can be enjoyed as well as deployed to explain these matters. But I also have on my mind that today is the 5th anniversary of my father’s fatal stroke. He’d had a wonderfully full day doing all the things he loved, and he fell not to rise again while taking out the trash at the end of it.

Some weeks after his death, I recall stepping out of our busy house and looking up to be treated, as it turned out, to August ‘shooting stars’ streaking across the sky. At the time, it seemed a reassurance that my dad had passed on but not quite out of a certain kind of sight. Today, the little bus rumbled down the street, I craned my neck to see a cloud, and a long line of funeral cars suddenly appeared from a side street. It all made me wonder again, if signs and wonders come us unbidden, and  possibly when we don’t even know we need them. What a gift!


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