Hurrying home in the rain from the local playground with my complaining two-year-old granddaughter, all I could think of was a warm haven from the storm. Cursing Melbourne’s notoriously changeable weather, I was oblivious to the patch of sunlight that broke momentarily through the dark clouds creating a beautiful rainbow across a wintry sky. My granddaughter stopped, electrified by the experience of nature’s beauty, the first rainbow she had seen in this life. As we stood there soaking wet watching as the rainbow dissolve from view in the next rain shower, I realized how rarely it is that we are aware of the beauty and wonder such as a child can see in the little things of everyday life.

Most of us hurry head-down through the responsibilities of adulthood losing touch with the beauty of the hour and the minute each precious day provides. The loneliness and boredom which plague modern Western society tell of a community in which many people disregard the opportunities each day provides to learn and grow. As each new day dawns, we can resolve to see a ‘rainbow’ in all our tasks and duties, no matter how outwardly humble. Not only will this exercise immeasurably enrich our daily lives, but it is needed practice in building strength of character for future tests and responsibilities awaiting those who genuinely pledge themselves to the betterment of Humanity.

The great English poet, William Wordsworth (1770-1850), put this thought beautifully in a little poem, My Heart Leaps Up:

“My heart leaps up when I behold

A rainbow in the sky;

So it was when my life began,

So it is now I am a man;

So it shall be when I shall grow old,

Or let me die!

The Child is the Father of the man;

And I could wish my days to be,

Bound each by natural piety.”