It was a fairly gray, overcast morning with a hint of blue sky hiding behind the clouds as I started my hike for the day. I came to an open clearing and there it was, a light haze of a rainbow. I smiled at the sight and plopped down to eat my breakfast of overnight soaked oats, raisins, and nuts. I snapped a photo and watched as the kaleidoscope of shades deepened a bit more.
After my good ‘ol breakfast of champions, I threw my pack over my shoulder and began walking again. Rain was in the forecast, and suddenly it began to fulfill that order. It was a sun shower for quite some time, with the rainbow still there. Yet the rainbow morphed into richer colors and even extended into a double rainbow as the rain got harder. I became intent on it as I got closer, chasing it, wanting to reach the end of the rainbow, wondering what would be there.
What is at the end of the rainbow anyway, I considered as I slogged on in the rain.
What’s at the end of the PCT, I went on to muse. What’s in store at the end of the trail for me?
Whoa, slow down, girl. I’m only in Southern California still. How many times have I chased something to see what was there? How many moments did I rush? How many times did I forget to exhale and slow down? How many times did I find the end wasn’t nearly as juicy as all the good stuff in between?
For several hours that rainbow stayed with me through the rain. It kept me going, as I marveled at how spectacular it was. I let go of the need to chase it and get to the end. Maybe there is no real beginning or end anyway, with life being just a continuous arc of flow, a string of moments.
Maybe life’s really about that cup of coffee with a dear friend. That curious first kiss. A breathtaking sunrise on the way to work. Lilacs in spring. The sound of his sultry voice when he leaves a message.
Or this freaking amazing day on the PCT sharing time with a rainbow.
In Spanish, the word for rainbow is ‘arco iris.’ I’ve always liked that description.
I’ve been on the PCT for 25 days now and I can barely remember a distinct beginning; this just seems like my life. And I don’t really want to think about the end. I’ll take all the filling between, like the cream of an Oreo cookie.
I’ll take the highest arc of the rainbow.