Rainbow Drive

by Diana Rankin

I didn’t know I was chasing rainbows when I set off. I had gone to the post office to pick up the mail and wasn’t quite ready to head home. While at the post office, I walked over to the grocery and picked up a Snicker’s Ice Cream Bar, and I wanted to savor it before heading back home to the evening’s chores.

A storm had moved through, and I could still see the darkness in the east as I stood amidst rain puddles shimmering with the sun’s sparkles. I headed east toward the storm. I hadn’t particularly planned to. I just kept on going straight instead of turning to go home when the time came.

This is rural country where the barns are bigger than most houses and the fences are built to keep the livestock in and strangers out. It’s where kids belong to 4-H Clubs and their chores begin before school starts and end after the sun goes down. It’s where you may not see much of your neighbors except on Sunday mornings or in times of trouble.

It’s a good place to live where loneliness isn’t a word you have time for and depression is left to people who can’t watch the corn grow. I’ve lived here long enough that it’s pretty near impossible to get lost, but there are still a few surprises waiting for me as I wander these back roads, some of which are so narrow you can’t get a pick-up truck past a tractor without wheels going off the side of the road.

Of course not all the roads are that narrow. There are plenty of well-paved two-lane state highways. I live off one, but this night I was more interested in the narrow passages between rows of tall summer-fed corn, broken only by the occasional graveled lane that always piques my interest even though I know that at the end of each one is a house much like my own, which is in the woods at the end of a long lane that probably piques the interest of many a passer-by.

Mist skittered up from the road in front of me. Sunlight bounced against the mist, refracting rainbows of color while rain dropped against the windshield. Ahead of me was the actual rainbow with all her promises. I wanted to follow her arch to the end, but home was calling me back. Behind me was the west with blinding bright sun, and I couldn’t drive east forever, so reluctantly I said good-by to the rainbow and at the next road turned south, and then west.

As roads out here are wont to do, it twisted and turned back on itself until I was traveling with the sun shadowing my back and the rainbow coming up on my side. Soon the road came to a stop, dead ending into the state route I live on, although miles from my home. I turned west again, toward home. The sun had moved nearer its night setting. It was still big and bright, but more orange now, with its rays starting to color the clouds off to the south.

Once home, I stopped at the end of my land before heading into the woods that held my house. The sun was bumping into the horizon spreading with orange and pink, red and yellow, blue and purple. The western horizon filling and spilling across the sky with all the colors of the rainbow, and filling my life with those colors too.

©2013 Diana Rankin

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