Reports of war and terror pour from the television as I rush to start the day. Despite a world now darken by apprehension, the anchorman urges us to return to normal life. And so I try.
Grabbing lunches, backpacks, and keys, the kids and I race through an icy rain for the safety of the car. Heading up the long driveway, I keep one hand on the wheel, while the other tries to buckle a seatbelt that shrinks with each passing birthday.
Return to normal life? How? My so-called normal life included guarantees, extended warranties and a comfortable, but perhaps naïve, sense of security. Where do I look for that now?
The to-do list inside my head grows longer. Buy stamps, pick-up dry cleaning, make bank deposit. Did I unplug the curling iron? I need a distraction so I turn on the radio. Disease, hunger, more fighting, the announcer reports. I turn off the radio, lock the car doors, and return to my mental list, which now includes thinking up a new reason for being late.
”There’s a rainbow.” A small voice from the back seat interrupts my mental whining.
“What is it?” I ask as my eyes dart from the clock to the speedometer.
“There’s a rainbow,” my son repeats. “Look at the rainbow, Mom.”
“I can’t. I’m driving.” But I glance back anyway. “I don’t see a rainbow, Clayton, just gray clouds.”
“Look again, Mom. Look where I’m pointing.”
As I slow to make a turn, I peek over my right shoulder. A pale band of violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red curves against the ashen sky, hues almost lost in heaven’s bleakness. I pull into the school driveway and the children get out.
“Don’t forget to look for the rainbow,” Clayton yells as he runs toward the playground.
Back at the intersection, I wait my turn to join the hurried masses. Then I see it. A multicolored ribbon stitched into the sky. I take my place in the metal caravan. My pace slows so I can admire the rainbow a little longer. The rainbow—a sign that the world will go on.
In times, battles will be won, work will get finished, and wounds will heal. And our nation will continue to be a beacon for liberty and a refugee for huddled masses yearning to breathe free for as long as there are rainbows . . . and children to point them out.
This Christmas, take time to look for the rainbows, the twinkle in the stars, and the angels (snow and otherwise) that touch our daily lives with their smiles, words of encouragement, and hugs-a-plenty. And please take time to say a special prayer for all the children in harm’s way, and a heartfelt “Thank you,” for the blessings our children and grandchildren bring us every day.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyeux Noël, Feliz Navidad and a Wonderful New Year!
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