Rainbow over Homestead

05-27-2016 | Lindsay

It rained every day since the weekend straddling April and May, when 16 women on retreat here had gathered around the two who were carrying little ones in their wombs and under their hearts. Humming softly to a gentle drumbeat in tune with the Earth's rhythms, we blessed the mothers and the children to be, while the rain whispered in misty droplets on the roof of the Meditation Shelter.

Less than two weeks later the residential community gathered for our usual weekly supper together. It was Keith and Katie's turn to host at their little cottage, called Homestead. During the meal, while we ate and talked, Katie slipped away from time to time, and then quietly returned to the conversation. Deep in community business, not all of us noticed; those who were aware assumed that she was experiencing the usual discomforts of advanced pregnancy. We ended our meal, said our goodbyes, and walked home to put children to bed and finish the day's tasks. Shortly after midnight, a car drove off the mountain, headed to the hospital in Charles Town. A waxing half moon shone behind thin clouds, the exact mirror of the waning half that had graced the blessing time in the Shelter. As morning light turned the persistent clouds to dusky pearl, we received word that baby Abraham was born.

A little more than a day later, the new family returned to their cottage and community. As they drove up the gravel road, Kate took a picture of Homestead. Above the cottage, hovering just over the Ridge, was a rainbow.

Rainbows have glowed with meaning for we humans down through the millennia, appearing as they do after gloom or storm, a promise of returning sun. In our imagination, they are a bridge between realms; treasure is nestled at their ends; they are highways to a dreamland where bluebirds fly; they are God's promise to us. With its seven vibrant colors layered in harmony, the rainbow is a symbol of unity and community. It has been used to stand for peace, for serendipity, for hope. Legends, tales, poetry swirl through its ephemeral beauty.

There is no doubt about it: a rainbow is enchanting. Our spirits soar on its graceful arc, and we can't help but imbue it with personal significance. For us, it was simple, and Kate's message when she sent the photo said it well: "I think baby Abe is being welcomed home!"