What does it symbolize to you?

rain·bow
–noun
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.
–adjective
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. Being a person who cherishes words, I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. One of these pieces of caritas was a black and white photocopy of a 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 for me. I was grappling with some big life questions, including a relapse of my incurable severe chronic illness, Crohn’s disease. 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 revelatory and relevant to me now as it did then, over half my life ago, and perfectly represents my story.

Embodying rainbows as a core life philosophy has helped me persevere through the darkest of days while simultaneously experiencing joy, and set me on a path of healing and accepting all parts of myself, including the ones in progress. I’ve been able to come out of years of hiding and share more of the full spectrum of my color and light.

I believe each of us is a magnificent rainbow. They are very rare and unique, painting 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 embracing a rich, full, diverse, and vibrant way of life. These are just a few reasons why I like rainbows...

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