Friday night, I was walking after it had just stopped raining in Norfolk. The air was fresh and clear, and the sun had nearly set. Suddenly a wonderful, full-arc rainbow appeared in the eastern sky. I stopped and stood on the sidewalk, admiring it for several minutes.
Then BAM! A single bolt of lightning split the sky. A car was coming out of the parking lot where I was, and a lady inside rolled down her window and gestured for me to come over. She warned me not to get struck by lightning while looking at the rainbow. I felt like shaking my head in disbelief… One (and only one!) lightning flash, in a city of hundreds of thousands, surrounded by taller buildings all around—really, my chances were pretty good! I also felt a touch of sadness that so many people are so needlessly frightened by things. We all could do with more rainbow-gazing and less worrying about lightning. But I was also touched that she cared enough to pass a friendly warning on to me, a complete stranger.
So I smiled and nodded, and turned back to the fading rainbow as the car drove off. And as the sun set and the rainbow dissolved, I thought, if you’ve got to go, there are far worse ways than by watching a rainbow.