Monday, July 11, 2011

After The Storm



The other day, a vibrant rainbow appeared right when I needed one; July has been a rough and stormy road thus far. What made the moment all the more spectacular, was that I had just spoken of my cat Libbey that very morning. 

It was her.  How could it not be... 

Thunderstorms have been a recurring theme in all major events in my life, so waking up to cloudy skies on the morning of December 22, 1997 was more than just an occurrence of nature.  It was the morning my beloved pet of 20 years was to be cremated, after two decades of unconditional love and companionship. She was my foundation. My best friend. Every decision I made in life had involved her well being.


1979
1997
  
Thunder. Lightening. The chaotic Arizona winter sky split open like a broken pinata, spilling its contents over the desert valley floor.
    
I was numb, but choosing to witness her individual cremation is what began the process of healing I so desperately needed. Not everyone would make that choice, but it was important for me to experience every last detail of her death. As I left the building, Libbey's cremains were still warm in my hands.  I walked slowly to the car, and it was then that I noticed it had finally stopped raining. 

About a mile from home, the sun peeked through the clouds and a beautiful full rainbow emerged.  It was at that moment that I was no longer able to hold back the tears. This difficult journey was coming to an end but, more incredibly, time stood still as I rounded the corner to witness this bright and stunning palette at the end of the cul-de-sac. I was in awe, and rainbows would forever hold new meaning.


Long before digital cameras were commonplace, I was grateful for film in my camera. I captured that moment and would do so again two days later on Christmas Eve, when another rainbow appeared in the identical spot it had that day. I looked up into the sky, and gently whispered "Merry Christmas, Libbey, I will always love you."

After nearly two decades of love, it was a loving yet painful goodbye I will never forget. The first real loss I had ever experienced, it would bring tremendous change to my life and begin my journey as an artist. For the next seven years, I recorded every rainbow I saw. Although I no longer keep track, every rainbow I see continues to hold importance. For me, they represent a sign that I am loved and that things will be okay... a message from the universe that I'm not alone no matter how alone I feel at the time. A reminder that I must look for the opportunity within each and every challenge that comes my way. 

If you've ever loved and lost something or someone, or have felt overwhelmed by the lessons life has presented, you no doubt understand where I am coming from. Whether you find hope in the stars, the rain, dancing butterflies, or elsewhere... may you always follow your heart and keep chasing your dreams. 

"We may run, walk, stumble, drive, or fly, but let us never lost sight of the reason for the journey, or miss a chance to see a rainbow on the way.”  ~ Unknown




1 comment:

  1. Brought tears to my eyes and felt warm all over while reading. Another excellent job of writing.

    ReplyDelete