Last week I saw a rainbow forming a perfect arc in the sky. As I watched it fade, I thought of Blake’s poem which expresses so beautifully the sense of wonder a rainbow inspires in us:
My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The child is Father of the man,
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
~ William Blake
Every time I see a rainbow, I experience this same lifting of the spirits that Blake describes; a joy and wonder at the beauty of this earth we live in. We could explain the rainbow scientifically, as so much else in this modern age, but I don’t believe that scientific understanding diminishes the beauty or the splendour of the natural world. However logically we explain the phenomena of rainbows, clouds, sound, or tides, they remain a marvel, in the true sense of the word.
I recently wrote a post describing the wonder that our children show for the world around them, and how we can learn from them as adults. This is what Blake touches on here, as he asks that he may never lose his sense of wonder, even as an old man – ‘Or let me die!’. Let us try to maintain – and even grow – our fascination for the natural world. Let us find the time to pause and truly notice our surroundings. Once, when I was attending an intensive training week for a new therapy team, we all rushed in at the start of the day, except one wonderful therapist, who took just a moment, just one small moment, to stop and breathe in the scent of a flowering shrub by the entrance. To be fully present in the moment before embarking on another day of lectures and discussion. To notice something which the rest of us had missed in our rush. So I ask, as Blake did, that I never forget to notice the splendour of our world in the rush of daily life. That I may pause to take a conscious breath, and to wonder at the little things that make such a difference to our lives.
The rainbow also reminded me of a talk I attended many years ago, when I had recently embarked on my career as a therapist. The talk was given by an author, Brenda Davies, about her book ‘The Rainbow Journey’, a book about the seven main chakras. As a new therapist, and having not at that time embarked on my yoga training, my understanding and experience of the chakras at that time was sketchy, and so the talk was utterly fascinating. Since that time, I have studied the chakras through further reading, and by experiencing ways of working with their energy, both on a personal level and through my yoga and therapy work with clients. I have written assignments on them and have embarked on a book of my own. The wonder and fascination of the chakras, our own inner rainbow, will never leave me, and I hope to write more about them in future posts. With every training I have taken over the years, in yoga, in reflexology and in Jin Shin Jyutsu, I have experienced the same excitement and wonder that shows me I am on the right path. I hope to always listen to that intuition, and to never stop wondering about the world.