Over The Rainbow
“Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high
There’s a land that I’ve heard of once in a lullaby.”
The rainbow holds a very special place in all our psyches and in all our souls.
Everything about the rainbow is special; a miracle kaleidoscope of colours and tones – a song in the sky; a breathtaking brush stroke celestial arch over the landscape; a beginning without a start, an ending without a trace, an architectural masterpiece.
It dazzles and confounds and confuses and delights.
“My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky;”
The rainbow is celebrated across all centuries, all cultures, and all religions. From Genesis, as the divine symbol of a promise to forever stop the flood and the destruction of the earth, to the Greco-Roman path of the messenger, Iris, between heaven and earth, to the leprechaun’s hiding place for the pot of gold, to the symbol for gender freedoms, and to the sign for a post apartheid “rainbow nation” in South Africa. It is replicated across myriad paintings, books and songs in every language and in every land – all inspired by the rainbow’s promise for good and better things to come – a promise now being made by the world in 2020 as the symbol of our crusade against the invasion of the coronavirus disease.
Nearly everyone knows the song “Over the Rainbow” from the film “The Wizard of Oz.” What you may not know is that the song was actually written in 1939 by two Jewish immigrants in New York, “Yip Harburg” and Harold Arlen, just before the outbreak of the second world war. They of course had no idea when they wrote it of the significance that the lyrics of “Over the Rainbow” would come to mean later to the Jewish people living during the time of the Holocaust. Rainbows, music and hope……
Little wonder then – and how appropriate – that the rainbow joins us all together once again and has come today to symbolize our appreciation for the thousands upon thousands of people who are keeping our world turning, looking to save lives, to make our lives better, and to offer that promise of hope and optimism for our future. In our fight we all need a tonic that lifts us spiritually – as much as we need the medicine that cures us physically.
The experience of seeing a rainbow – like that of listening to a song – is impossible to even begin to describe by simply defining their natures – the first a prism of colours; the second a collection of notes. They are both simply and completely magical and touch our common humanity.
Let us sing our praises to all key workers everywhere, with a great big rainbow in our hearts…
“Somewhere over the Rainbow, skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream,
Really do come true.”