Rainbows without Unicorns by Angela Rieck


Photo by Marie Pierre Nuthall

I saw a rainbow this morning. Its arc stretched across the sky in a perfect semicircle. The fuzzy, predictable ribbons of color blended with the clouds to create a mystical moment. All the colors of the rainbow danced above me.

Rainbows are special because they represent a promise. In the Judeo-Christian story, they are God’s covenant never to flood the earth again. The Irish search for the promise of gold. In the Navajo tradition, the rainbow is the path to the holy spirits. Beloved animals have crossed the rainbow bridge.

That rainbow followed me wherever I went, watching the sunrise, walking on the beach, at the ocean pier, even crossing a mundane road. I looked up and there it was.

As I stared at it, I developed a new theory. Rather than a promise or an omen, maybe a rainbow is just a rainbow. A beautiful work of nature to enjoy in all of its splendor. As I marveled at its beauty, I realized that would be enough.

Angela Rieck was born and raised on a farm in Caroline County. After receiving her PhD in Mathematical Psychology from the University of Maryland, she worked as a scientist at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey. Throughout her career, she held management jobs at AT&T, HP and Medco, finally retiring as a corporate executive for a large financial services company. 

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