Bookish Matters

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

—Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Thursday, November 5, 2009

"Rainbows" from Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life

From Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life
Amy Krouse Rosenthal


If rainbows did not exist and someone said wouldn't it be cool to paint enormous stripes of color across the sky, you'd say yes, that would be very cool--impossible, but very cool. Children are totally tuned in to the miracle of rainbows--that's why they are forever drawing them. There's even something divine about spotting a tiny rainbow in a puddle of water or a splotch of gasoline. Oh, look! A rainbow! It would be nice to have some universal ritual connected with rainbows, along the lines of stray penny equals good luck, and car with one headlight equals, say, piddiddle/make a wish. Maybe: See a rainbow, eat a sugar cube. Or see a rainbow, put a dollar in a jar; then when you leave home at eighteen, your mother sends you off with your rainbow money. A friend once told me a story about how he was going through his five-year-old son's backpack and he found a picture of a little boy standing under a rainbow crying. His first thought was, Oh God, my son is having some serious problems. When he asked his son about the picture, he told him that he had been playing at school and he saw a rainbow and it was so beautiful that it made him cry.

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