One chilly morning last week I drove to Madras with a friend. The day was sunny and as crisp as crisp could be. A soft blanket of quiet frost covered the earth. The frost captured the sun’s light in millions of tiny sparkling beads scattered across the landscape. The sky was an extraordinary cross between periwinkle blue and purple. I inhaled deeply and took it all in.
We climbed a hill and when we rounded a corner, a huge sea of fog opened up in front of us. The landscape really did look like the sea, or at least I pretended that was the case. Our car rolled down the hill and into the sea-fog we went. As we reached flat ground, the fog started to lift and the sun shone through in bright patches. Suddenly we spotted something neither one of us had ever seen: a series of five, maybe seven rainbows suspended in the fog, all barely discernible. They were sitting in a large pasture and did not look anything like the usual rainbows because they were wider with fainter colors. They were short, just slightly higher than the trees and wispy, ephemeral. But more than the appearance to the physical eye, they had a soothing presence, as if we were looking at live beings, angels maybe. They seemed to talk, or gave us the impression they were. If peace had a look, this would be it. Silence too. Comfort, definitely. I took it all in and felt nourished.
As I tried to understand what I was seeing, I asked my friend if she felt the rainbows too. She did! Together we tried to find the words to describe this mysterious presence. Comparing notes together about this profound event was sheer delight. Reality check! No, I wasn’t crazy after all. Or, if I was then she was too.
Over the following days I contemplated the idea of spiritual nourishment and the words “soul food” came to mind. It’s so easy to think of food as something to eat yet nourishment comes in so many different forms. Friendship is one, connection another. Beauty definitely nourishes. So do joy, laughter, fun and play. Another big one is gratitude. Being thankful is like medicine; gratitude can transform a sour mood into a happy one almost instantly. Surprises nourish too; they keep life from becoming too routine and dull. Generosity and help in any form – those are the best!
Even challenges can be a form of nourishment because they force us to expand and grow into spectacular rainbows. The New Year is already upon us. I wish everyone a year filled with supreme good fortune and more!