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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Beacon Bits - Rainbows

Now living on the west shore of the Hudson, I thought my chances of seeing an early evening summer rainbow after a late afternoon thundershower was mighty slim. I was grateful to know I'd still be driving up on the west side of the river from work in the evening when it might still be possible to catch a glimpse of a multi-colored arc over the Hudson -- a wonderfully renewing and inspiring sight for one who wants to remain hopeful in the midst of life's trials and tribulations. So much to my delight, when leaving Common Ground farm, the rain mist had begun to fall while I was still cutting my share of zinnias in the u-pick field and the sky was brightening in the west with rays of sunlight streaming across the field. I held my breath and waited and slowly returned to the car because I thought I'd receive the rainbow gift I was longing for after a difficulty week of family illness, work stress and news of the massacre in Norway. No rainbow in sight, I began to drive south on 9D, all the while, looking east in anticipation of an emerging prism in the sky. As I approached the Newburgh-Beacon bridge, I began to see the refracted light slowly emerging against the dark clouds through the gentle falling rain. It began to brighten. As I turned left onto Main Street, it became translucent as I passed Poppy's and Homespun. I could see in the distance that the arc began close to the ground in the parking lot of Scenic Hudson's Mt. Beacon Park and then transversed back over the very top of Mt. Beacon itself. I was so excited, I rolled down my car window and called to some people in the street to look up towards the eastern sky. It reminded me of my reputation as the 'rainbow whisperer' when I traveled to Scotland in 2003 and would call out to my fellow Celtic sojourners that a rainbow was getting ready to appear. (See Celtic Journeys for more information about travel to England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland.)

Some food for thought: Knowing when a rainbow might appear, being totally alert to that possibility, is a Zen moment, a gift of mindfulness, a touch of grace. We all need to make the time to search the horizon for the chance to see a rainbow and to remain hopeful when our expectations are not always met. The odds are that the occasional reward of a rainbow sighting will be transformative and magical each and every time, if only we connect to the present moment.

Rainbow Ratatouille
2 small white onions
2 small summer squash (yellow, green)
2 small eggplant (white, purple)
2 small ripe tomatoes
1-1/2 cups, organic, cooked garbanzo beans
garlic, basil, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar
Place olive oil in a pan, add chopped vegetables and cook until translucent.  
Add beans and seasoning to taste.
When fully cooked, add several teaspoons of balsamic vinegar before a final stir.
Makes 2-1/2 to 3 cups.

Author's Note: I've sighted two more rainbows over Mt. Beacon in the last week; what wonder and delight!

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