What does it symbolize to you?

1. a bow or arc of prismatic colors appearing in the heavens opposite the sun and caused by the refraction and reflection of the sun's rays in drops of rain. Compare primary rainbow, secondary rainbow.
2. a similar bow of colors, esp. one appearing in the spray of a waterfall or fountain.
3. any brightly multicolored arrangement or display.
4. a wide variety or range; gamut.
5. a visionary goal: He pursued the rainbow of a singing career for years before becoming a success.
6. made up of diverse races, ethnic groups, etc.: a rainbow coalition of supporters.

I attended several very special spiritual retreats in high school where we received large amounts of "caritas" each weekend, which were essentially love letters, quotes, and inspirational messages from others. For me, it was the best thing ever, being a person who cherishes words. One of these pieces of caritas was a photocopied, hand-drawn picture of a rainbow with this phrase:

"It takes both the sun and the rain to make a rainbow."

This era was a defining time period of my development in my life, and I was grappling with some big life questions, along with a severe chronic illness and no cure. The necessary elements of the rainbow have stuck with me over the years; the beautiful idea of polarities, the dark and the light, the good and the bad, needing each end of the spectrum, and everything in between, to make something whole. The concept seems as real, revelatory, and relevant to me now as it did then, over half my life ago, and perfectly represents my story.

Rainbows have helped me persevere through the darkest of days while simultaneously experiencing joy, and have given me permission to accept it all. They allow me to heal and to embrace all parts of myself, no matter how opposed they might appear to be. I believe each of us is a magnificent rainbow. They are very rare and unique, and paint majestic colors in the sky for a fleeting time. Experiencing a rainbow encourages us to be fully present, and feel awe for the gift of nature. They are an incredible metaphor for a rich, full, diverse, vibrant way of life.

These are just a few reasons why I like rainbows...

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