Monday, October 17, 2016

The rainbows of Skye...and Julian's gentle wisdom.

It is already clear, after only two days, that these coming months on the Isle of Skye, will be filled with "teaching moments" from a most wonderful instructor...Mother Nature. This morning, it was difficult to keep up with the changing between rain squalls, rainbow after rainbow appeared.

A meteorological phenomenon, the rainbow is as natural a thing as could possibly be. And yet, it is so "magical" and evokes such depth of feeling. The magnificent arc of colours is created when sunlight and rain "meet up" in the sky. Every single droplet of water acts as a tiny "prism" dispersing the light beam and reflecting it back to our eyes. The bands in the rainbow demonstrate that light is made up of many, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet and perhaps even an infinite number of other subtle hues.

But rainbows are so much more...

For me, they are a symbol of hope, a reminder that despite our struggles and no matter how difficult they may be, we must never give up. Julian of Norwich, was an English contemplative, mystic, theologian, and spiritual counsellor. Born around 1342, she may be known best for her tender words, "all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."

Julian was a woman of "radical optimism". She lived and worked at a most difficult time, when poverty and plague were rampant, and yet her writings are filled with words of love, compassion, hope, and trust.

Sometimes the "skies" in our lives, or in the lives of those we love, can seem very dark and unsettled. If we look carefully, however, we can almost always discern a rainbow, a reason for hope.

And when we do, a band of light illumines our path, and we find our way again.

Julian taught that when we live with gentleness, expressing love and compassion in every way that we can, we will discover rainbows - right before our eyes. Perhaps even more important, however, we will create rainbows in one another's lives.

I like that idea, very much.


  1. Beautiful rainbows! They are a wonderful reminder to me of God's love and hope for us all. Our world needs a lot of love, compassion and hope. Julian said well...."All shall be well".

  2. Thank you, Linda. What you say is so true. Together we CAN work to make the world a better place for all people...and that has to be our enduring hope. The rainbows will continue to remind us. Warmest wishes, and missing you. ;)

  3. Lovely images and words Duncan - rainbows really are a symbol of hope...even at the base level of "Hopefully this rain's going to stop soon"!

    I believe I know that view across An t'Ob....welcome back to you both


  4. Ian, thank you for that. You will know this part of the world very well. Places and features you have described are now becoming more real. Just this morning, I have finally come to understand the difference between the Red and Black Cuillins! So much to learn. :) Warm wishes and looking forward to seeing you again.

  5. Love your sentence "Perhaps even more important, however, we will create rainbows in one another's lives." You just did this by those words. I like that idea too and will share it! Enjoy the sky and Skye!

  6. Leif, thank you so much, I'm glad the thought was a helpful just created a rainbow in my day! :) Warm wishes to you.