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File photo: A rainbow appears over Damascus, Syria. Image Credit: AP

In Ireland, rainbows fall from the skies. They seem to be plentiful, and over two recent weeks, I have seen more of these beautiful kaleidoscopes than I think I have seen in many years.

And twice too recently I have seen double rainbows — where there are two together, arc over arc, from the sea to the land.

They always seem to be an omen of good times, of a promise about to come true.

In Irish folklore, it’s believed that there’s a crock of gold at the end of every rainbow and it is there that the Little People, the Leprachauns keep their gold. I have met some pretty small people in my time, none were Leprachauns, and none have had a pot of gold to share.

But rainbows are such a beautiful phenomenon of nature, fleeting, but always memorable.

Someone once said that a rainbow was a promise from the heavens that it wouldn’t rain again. If you’ve ever lived in Ireland, or visited, clearly those are promises easily broken, for it always seems to rain.

While the clouds run the full gamut of light and fluffy, dark and brooding, heavy and sorrowful, a rainbow offers hope that things will indeed get better, that there are better times around the corner, that there is a magical quality to the here and now even if, like the rainbow, it is fleeting.

There are people we meet in the course of life that are too like rainbows. They might not be around for a long time, but they are bubbly, bright, and cheer us up.

There are children too who some refer to as rainbow children. I guess that’s a very politically correct way of saying that they, in the parlance of the mental health professionals, are “on the spectrum”. What it means is that they look at life through a different lens. They do not use the same filters as most, but are a joy to behold and have a magical quality about them.

There is that famous song too, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, that is familiar to us all, an expression that things are better there, no matter what we are enduring in the present. And hopefully too the pain of current discomforts will be temporary and fleeting.

I think it’s important in life that we all continue to search for the end of the rainbow. We must always continue to explore and wonder, seek out the unknown, never settling for what will do, what leaves us in a comfort zone.

Rainbows too are a reminder to us all that light, which we all take for granted, is made up of so many elements. A rainbow teaches us that we are all made up of our differences, and that each is unique, but when put together in the collective of life, we are the sum of all our individual parts.

As a child, nothing was quite as much fun as playing with bubbles. And even today, when children have all sorts of sophisticated toys and games, give them some water and washing-up liquid and a ring to make bubbles, and they’ll be entertained for hours.

Nothing beats making a really big bubble, one so large that you can see a spectrum of light shimmer in its curves. And like the rainbow too, it disappears.

Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are indeed blue. But they are blue too in the here and now. It’s just that we don’t take the time to appreciate that. We can’t have enough rainbows.