Early this morning I saw something I had never before seen, a rainbow in the snow. The rising sun was very low, ascending through broken skies, and I had just found myself coming into an alpine meadow in a sunny opening. The Twin Sisters loomed on my left, Longs Peak behind. Fragile hoarfrost clung to the taller grasses from an overnight fog, and the ground was covered with two inches of fresh powder, interlaced with coyote tracks.
Then, gently and slighter than a whisper, almost as an undertone, it began to snow. There was no wind. Tiny, brilliantly flashing crystals flitted like falling leaves or apple-blossom petals, dropping thinly from a wispy cloud, through which shown a cerulean sky. Bright sunshine beamed and all was dazzling when just as gently, just as whisper-like, the bow appeared. Was it something on my glasses? I wiped them clean. No, it was a rainbow, small and pale but still distinct, actually a bowed sundog, that hung before me as if I could reach out a hand and pierce the spectrum with a finger.
I actually tried, twice. Finally I held my palm open.
The promise, touched... The covenant,
come to rest upon my hand...
The promise, touched… The covenant, come to rest upon my hand...
I set my rainbow in the cloud, and it will be for a sign of a covenant between me and the earth… I will look at it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth. (Genesis 9:13, 16)
~~ RGM, from an old entry in my nature journal, written several
years ago while attending a board meeting at Covenant
Heights Camp and Conference Center, Estes Park CO