The Path of the Rainbow


By Alison Roberts

Let me tell you about a distant land, an enchanting place full of magic and discovery.

It was a place of beauty: The trees were forever in blossom, fragrant petals drifting through the air, tickling the faces of all who lived there, perfuming the atmosphere. The air was quiet, devoid of wind, rain or any sound but the delicate chirping of colourful birds that soared the sky, never leaving the confines of this paradise. The sun and moon were in constant conversation; their established dance controlling the gentle flow and ebb of tides, bringing fish and feeding all who lived there. It was a place of peace and calm, a place of such contentment and appreciation that nobody yearned for more; nobody questioned if there was anything else. What more could anyone want? In this place of magic, there was no discussion, no challenge, no heated conversation; just one viewpoint, a shared knowledge which everyone believed was all there was to know.

Surrounded by water and without any form of modern technology the inhabitants of this isle were content to look up to the sky, learning about their world from the moon, the sun and the ancient stars above – their teaching never varied; it followed the same rhythm, and the accepting pupils listened day in, day out. Faces turned to the sky, they listened. The direction of their gaze did not waver – they looked up, but never out, never around.

And so life continued in this way.

One day there was a change. The inhabitants of this island woke up to a sudden chill, the sky was darker and droplets of water fell from above like tears. The people ran out in confusion. They looked upwards for reassurance when through the glimmer of the sun’s rays, they spotted a gentle arc of colour, a myriad of faded blue, indigo red, green and yellow. It shimmered softly and everyone looked up in awe, squinting to see more.

The ancient stars looked down, their light dimming next to the wondrous beauty of this young rainbow. From above they could also see what the others could not. The colours did not fade, but seemed to glow strongly and curved majestically across the ocean, touching the soil of a distant land in a golden glow of treasure.

In that moment the sun, moon and stars knew that the path to the future had arrived and a time of new knowledge and opportunity was beginning. This young arc of beauty would provide the path to a new perspective, something they had not been able to do.

Embarrassed by the gaze of these ancient forces, the young rainbow bowed down with respect and humility, urging them to continue their stories, humble about her own powers, not believing the part she was to play in the future of this magical island and the beings that existed on it.

Days passed. More and more rain fell and the jade green grass and jewel like flowers began to drown in the rivers and streams that had erupted. The people stumbled in clods of earth, not knowing how to save themselves, looking up to the stars for guidance – still looking up, not out or around for a solution. They were alone, stranded, oblivious to the other land which beat with life just a short distance away.

The ancient stars were desperate. Their powers were fading and they knew they did not hold the answer to the horrific situation below. With certainty they knew that new direction was needed – only a new perspective, a fresh approach would change the fate developing below.

Together the ancient stars urged the rainbow to believe in herself and her own powers. Together they urged the rainbow to change the fate of their people. Their thoughts and encouragement combined with such force that they suddenly illuminated the sky, before vanishing forever.

In that moment of illumination, the colours of the rainbow appeared like a solid path, concrete, enticing. For the first time the people’s eyes moved to the right and to the left, following the arc of this path. As their eyes moved, so did their feet and soon they were standing on curve of the rainbow. For the first time they saw the world from a different angle – they could look down, around, across. They could see out and their perspective was changed forever. Hypnotised, they continued the journey across the spectrum of colour before their feet touched new land, new opportunity. A new future opened up and the people looked around, eager to learn more. They moved forward into a land of noise, debate, excitement and challenge, thrilled by the prospects in front of them. And as they moved onwards, the rainbow delivered each and every one with a golden nugget of knowledge that they would never relinquish.