The kids and I were walking back to our apartment after a fun evening at the swimming pool. The forecast had predicted a hot day, but by the time we got to the pool a little after 5 o’clock, clouds were building over the mountains and the air had turned cool. Scott and the kids jumped off of the diving boards and swam for a while and then he left early to start dinner. The kids and I followed about an hour later. It was now almost 8:00, and as we walked along the path the sun shone through the gathering clouds and a light rain began to fall. It was beautiful. I was thinking to myself that I would always love the memory of walking back to our little Oberammergau apartment in the rain listening to the kids laughing and chattering about the water slides at the pool and how Ashley tricked Grant into going down the slide before his turn. They were happy.
The sky flashed and we counted. We heard thunder and it began to rain a little harder. We draped our towels over our heads and walked a little more quickly. I really wanted to stop and dig my phone out to take a picture of us with our towel umbrellas on the pretty path in the watery sunshine. I resisted though because it was one of those moments that you just don’t want to interrupt. I wanted to be in it. There were two ladies stopped on the path taking a picture of the sun shining through the clouds. Ashley said, “This is exactly where we are supposed to be.”
We walked on. Ashley said, “There is no place I’d rather be right now than here.” And then, “It took me a while to say that.” I wasn’t quite sure what she meant, so I asked for clarification. She said, “I had to really think about it because if I was home all would be right with the world, but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now.” She loves her home and has been homesick, so this was a significant statement from her. I couldn’t have imagined anything better at the moment either. It was perfect.
Then we turned the corner off of the foot path and onto the street. I looked up and saw the most amazing sight, a double rainbow, brighter and closer than any rainbow I have ever seen. It was mesmerizing. A minivan stopped in the middle of the street and the whole family piled out and stood on the side of the road, staring at the sky. We couldn’t stop exclaiming. The sky was vibrating with the colors. The double rainbow went all of the way across the sky, and as we watched the colors intensified.
It looked like one of the ends was back along the path we had just come from. Ashley really wanted to run home and tell her Papa so he could see it too, but I knew the moment was fleeting and so I told the kids I just had to try and see the end. We ran back down the path with Grant telling me that I would never find the end of the rainbow; it was only an optical illusion. The view on the path was even more intense. The colors were glowing, especially the purple. I could feel this awesome power, the power of nature, the power of God, an overwhelming energy, not a malevolent presence but scary nonetheless because it was so intense. Ashley started to cry. It was that powerful. It was truly an otherworldly experience. As, Grant said, an experience that makes you question your own existence. Ashley said we had seen God.
The experience was spiritual for me. It was a sign and a gift from God. It was overwhelming, awe inspiring and reassuring all at the same time. It was magic and it was indescribable and it was a beam of joy straight from Heaven.