Better Than a Pot of Gold
Customs, baggage and getting the rental car went quickly. In fact the kind man at Hertz gave me directions to the store, and it was right on the way! After winding through the mall to the store and getting my items, I checked my watch. I smiled knowing I was on track to have plenty of time for my trip. After all, I had made this drive the previous week - I knew how long it would take to get to my mountain destination.
Traffic Tie Ups
On my trip the previous week I had arrived earlier in the day, so I didn't have to go across Calgary in rush hour. My mental plan hadn't taken that into account. And there was no way I could have known about the road construction that started in last few days. Adding these two things together, and by the time I passed the site of part of the 1988 Winter Olympics events on the west side of Calgary, my timing was looking tight.
Continuing the Drive
As I left town and continued west, the sun was bright ahead, but it began to rain where I was, and rain hard! With the wipers on high I thought briefly that there would probably be a rainbow somewhere, but I was driving and so, tempted as I was, I kept my eyes on the road in front of me. Within a few minutes of driving in the rain, I had forgotten about the rainbow possibility as I looked in my rearview mirror. The sky behind me looked funny and strangely colored. I was curious, but didn't think much of it.
On my next scan to the rear view mirror I saw a beautiful rainbow behind me and immediately realized what I had experienced moments before. I had been IN the rainbow! Now I drove more with my eyes in the mirror than on the road in front of me. It was a huge rainbow and was getting more brilliant! Now my thoughts were on my love for rainbows. I've always liked them. They have always felt magical to me, and I think they are one of the most beautiful things in all of our world. They also signify for me the promise of God that he would never flood the world again.
My eyes continued to spend more than enough time looking in the mirror as I reviewed my favorite rainbow memories. I quickly realized this moment was at the top of the list. I had been in (or very close to) the rainbow. At one point the rainbow seemed to be fading behind one of the large rolling hills behind me, then on my next glance it reappeared in front of that hill.
I reveled in the sight for the next 10-15 minutes and thought about how much I would like a picture of the rainbow. I remembered that I had my digital camera in the trunk. And I thought about my now increasingly tight time schedule. I wrestled with whether I had the time to stop, find the camera in a bag and get the picture. I wondered if the digital camera would do justice to what I was seeing. Finally I let go of the excuses and stopped.
Forget the schedule, I had to capture this moment! I took the pictures. I made the dinner in time (barely). Over the next few days I reflected on my Canadian rainbow.
Be in the Moment
One of my lessons for this experience was to stay mentally in the present. I suppose it is possible that I wouldn't have even noticed the rainbow as I drove, had I been preoccupied by other things. I did however struggle with making the time to take the picture because of my schedule.
Here is an important question though - was I late? No. Here's a more important question - knowing what I know now, would it have been worth being five minutes late to have that picture and that moment to look at the rainbow with my full attention rather than glimpses in a rear view mirror? Absolutely. Next time I am wrestling with staying in the moment, I plan to remember this lesson, and I hope you will too. When we stay in the present, we remain open to great experiences and amazing opportunities to learn. Stay present - stay in the moment.
It's All About Perspective
Rainbows are all about perspective. Where you are compared to the sun and the rain will change the rainbow's location for you. I was in a perfect place at the perfect time to seemingly be in the rainbow. Without the Radio Shack stop, the afternoon commuters and the road work (all things that seemed at the time like nuisances) I would likely have not experienced this unique place in time. The rainbow seemed to move from behind to in front of hills as I drove west. It is all about perspective.
The mental and physical place from which we view things make a big difference in our perception of those things. It is true for more than rainbows. It is true for your struggles in personal relationships, your business problems, your failures, and your successes. When we look at our world from new perspectives we see new things. One of the best things we can do to enhance the quality of our lives is to continue to find new perspectives from which to view our lives.
My work in Kananaskis was fun and I had the opportunity to spend time with great clients in a wonderful place. But my trip will always be defined by "my" rainbow.
I wish you rainbows and the lessons that come with them.
p.s. To see one of the pictures I took, go to: VantagePoints 706
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