… So are rainbows. That’s not an opinion, but a fact. The sun doesn’t disappear once you perceive the clouds from your earth bound perspective. Just because you can’t see a thing at this exact moment it doesn’t mean it is not there. It just simply means you’re temporarily in a situation where the whole truth is obscured by some object, emotion, mood, or situation.

Clouds are not solid unmovable things. They will eventually dissipate into nothing and the worst storms are a conduit for beauty. But first you’ll need to bear the storm and find grace in its destruction, same as you would in creation of the new. They are one and the same after all and nothing comes void of its opposite. This is what an old 19th century African song speaks of when it says: “When it looked like the sun wasn’t going to shine any more, God put a rainbow in the clouds.“

Regardless of the deity you’re subscribed to or the lack thereof, this is the truism of life, Struggles never come without opportunities and whatever happens, no matter how hard, long, arduous, cloudy or stormy, no matter how gut wrenchingly sad, dark or hopeless it may seem, it’s a rainbow in the making, it’s a backdrop for beauty, freshness and renewal forming, but (there’s always a but) –  but you won’t see the rainbow in your particular cloud if you hang your head low and stare at the ground defeated.

Brokenness is fine, hardship is unavoidable, struggle is necessary and clouds are a must. Yet rainbows just need to catch a droplet and a ray to turn the cloudy skies into Technicolor magic. It takes so little for beauty to occur. It gets even better. Depending on where you’re looking from you’ll see a different rainbow, it’s a POV thing due to the angle of your gaze. Why are rainbows perfect metaphors? Because they actually are perfect, perfect spheres which, viewed from the ground, once again make us aware of the entire majesty while we see them as a semicircle. Isn’t that a kick?

None of us have the whole truth on anything including anything that happens, good or bad, and still we cherry pick from what we can see and then act as if these are full, unchangeable, unavoidable facts on how things are. Even if you were, by some highly improbable occurrence, to come into possession of knowledge about complete and full truth and all the factors it entails, it still wouldn’t matter because there is agency to be considered. You’re not helpless, ever. You can shift your gaze and perspective, act and move and things tend to change as we change, even if they stayed exactly the same.

Rainbows and clouds coexist in all our clouds and a storm is just a crescendo before the calm. It’s human nature to want what you don’t (yet) have and to need some rain, clouds and gloom before we can fully appreciate the relief and inspiration of a rainbow. That’s what mistakes or unfortunate events are for – to set the stage for appreciation, more skill, knowledge, acceptance, love and resilience. We exist fully only in the swaying between opposites. This is what gives life its rhythm. Even a tone with no silence is just noise and silence with no tone is empty. What we consider an event is the change of a usual state in any way, and change is neither good nor bad in itself. It’s just different and left to you to interpret as you wish.

So whether you’ll stand shrugged, eyes bowed and shoulders dropping in the storm, running for cover or raising your eyes in curiosity, squinting upwards with hopes for a chance of beauty from chaos, that’s up to you. Whatever you choose to do, storms are still a must, and so are rainbows.