End of the Rainbow (1979)

[Taking a brief break from my Bali travel series to revisit a bit of past magic]

On the coast of California, especially in summer, heavy fog forms above the ocean most afternoons. In the evening, it moves in toward the cooling Central Valley; the next morning, it will lift, or “burn off”, with the warming sun—or perhaps, it retreats back to its ocean home.

I was visiting Big Sur, on a bluff with a spectacular view of the ocean. One morning I woke up early to watch the sky, but there was not much to see, because there was a thin cover of grey clouds.

Not much, that is, until I looked out to sea, and saw the rainbow. The fog was hovering off the shore, near eye level, and a break in the higher cloud layer let a ray of sunshine come through and reflect off of it.

And, oddly, it was moving—not away from land, as you expect the fog to do in the morning, but coming closer. The end of the rainbow was right in front of my face, a few hundred yards away. I stood still, wondering what this meant. The end of the rainbow, coming to me. I don’t expect a pot of gold, but finding out what happens next is going to be a revelation! A perennial mystery will be solved, for my personal benefit alone.

And then, it is upon me. The cloud reflecting the rainbow is…wet, of course. And in my face is not gold, not light, but rain.

Now I know. And so do you.

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