The promise in a rainbow

June 24, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

Perhaps one of the earliest mentions of a rainbow in a written work is the Biblical story of the ending of Noah’s flood when the birds returned to the Ark with a leaf from a tree and they all knew they had survived the rain. In the sky was a rainbow – a promise of a chance to rebuild in a meaningful way – a promise that no such calamity of water would happen again.

One day, coming home, I stopped at a small mall to catch a photograph of a full rainbow. Because I was thinking about the rainbow and not my fellow motorists, I simply stopped, got out of the car to take the picture. The fellow behind me seemed about to beep his annoyance with me but, somehow caught what I was doing, forgave my whimsy and waited patiently for me to finish and drive on.

This week, on the BBC website, is a collection of photographs of the summer Solstice dawn over Scotland, the last one of which is a powerful shot of the rising sun “drawing” a rainbow “over the Angus fields, towards Arbroath.” 

It is still up:

What is it about rainbows? Not just the Bible but consistently through the ancient stories of cultures across the world comes a tale of a flood and, maybe a little surprisingly, the promise of a rainbow that no such flood would come again. Unfortunately, God is reported to have told Noah that he and his descendants must breed, have lots of children to cover the earth with people.

Guess we have taken that to a greater length than we should have.

When the LGBT community took the rainbow to be their own, I was impressed by the wisdom of such a claim – a symbol of hope, combined with a promise of safety – at least from floods. Yet, people in general pretend to be afraid or threatened by difference in others. It is something I have never understood.

Well, it begins with education. There are records of sexual variance in humans and other mammals – especially noted among primates – forever. According to the World History Encyclopedia, a fascinating online weekly newsletter, which brings forward videos and articles about our ancient history and more modern, the Sacred Band of Thebes was a powerful group fighting, “an elite unit of the Theban army of 150 gay male couples totalling 300 men…first mentioned in 324 BCE…[who]…achieved fame under General Pelopidas and were invincible from 378 – 338 BCE when the entire troop fell together at the Battle of Chaeronea.”

Homosexuality was a fact throughout history, when it becomes forbidden in the course of the Old Testament and is, to this day, in many countries but here’s the rub: there is no point making laws that are impossible to obey. We have too many of them and they are a nonsense because they go against the laws of nature. It has long been recognized that many LGBTQIA are born what they are.

We all need relationships; need to love and be loved; we all want to nurture and be cared for; we all want to lay claim to all that, in our own ways, without legislation telling us in a court room that we cannot be who we are, who we have always been, who even our primitive ancestors were. 

I remember the jubilation when the Canadian government released the LGBTQIA to marry. It was a truly Canadian moment – they are people who love each other and who have the right to be in a marriage, with all that, that implies: the ceremony and recognition, the legal rights, obligations and benefits. The right to be parents.

Education is key to progress: another marriage for balance: a marriage between the Arts and Science, so that children can grow with balance and good information that frees them from ignorance and destructive prejudice; so that a person’s sexuality would be discounted as an influence on others; just as the colour of a person’s skin wouldn’t matter; just as a person’s spiritual beliefs would be their business.

So, what would matter would be the level of kindness in a person, what shines within those eyes, the stories they might tell – the future they might see.

If we stopped picking on each other for being what our natures make us, maybe we could unite, as a species, clean up our act, stop killing and polluting – turn our waste into energy instead of ruining our water…..

This does not have to become a watered-down “utopia,” that idea that kindness means weak – that a balanced society would be dull; that equality in opportunity is communistic, with no room for the strong and adventurous.

We are basically wondrously inventive and full of love but we have been at war with each other and the planet as long as we have stood on hind our legs.

It is time to rebel against those failings and turn our faces away from our darkness to the light within us.

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.