The Story of the Rainbow
A Native American Legend
A Native American Legend
Once upon a time, all the colors in the world started to quarrel; each claimed that she was the best, the most important, the most useful, the favorite.
Green said, ‘Clearly I am the most important. I am the sign of life and hope. I was chosen for grass and all the leaves on the trees – without me all the animals would die. Look out over the countryside and you will see that I am the majority.’
Blue interrupted, ‘You only think about the earth, but consider the sky and the sea. It is water that is the basis of all life and is drawn up by the clouds from the blue sea. The sky gives space and peace and serenity. Without my peace you would all be nothing but busybodies.’
Yellow chuckled, ‘You are all so serious. I bring laughter, gaiety and warmth into the world. The sun is yellow and all the stars that twinkle in the night sky are yellow. Every time you look at a sunflower the whole world starts to smile. Without me there would be no fun.
Orange started next to blow her own trumpet, ‘I am the color of health and strength. I may be scarce but I am precious for I serve the inner needs of human life. I carry all the most important vitamins – my bounty is found in carrots and pumpkins – but when I fill the sky at sunrise or sunset, my beauty is so striking that no one gives another thought to any of you.’
Red could stand it no longer and shouted, ‘I am the ruler of you all. I am the color of life’s blood. I am fire in the blood, brave am I; willing to fight for a cause. Without me the earth would be empty as the moon. I am the color of passion and of love; the red rose, poinsettia and poppy.’
Purple rose up to her full height and said with great pomp, ‘I am the color of royalty and power. Queens, chiefs and bishops have always chosen me, for I am a sign of authority and wisdom. People do not question me – they listen and obey.’
Indigo spoke much more quietly than all the other but just as determinedly, ‘Think of me. I am the color of silence. You hardly notice me, but without me you all become superficial. I represent thought and reflection, twilight and deep waters. You need me for balance and contrast, for prayer and inner peace.
The colors were fighting when all of a sudden a great light flashed across the sky and thunder rolled in the heavens and rain came down. The colors all huddled in a circle and were afraid. The Rain said, ‘Silly colors, why are you fighting? You are all important. You are all beautiful. The world needs each and every one of you. You are all equal in the sight of the Great Spirit!’ Then the Rain stopped and the Sun shone and all the colors joined hands and danced with joy!
The day we moved in to Carmel there was a rainbow. We all oohed and aahed at the sight. It was a sign of blessing; a promise fulfilled. God had brought us together to share this glorious, peaceful bit of land to be witnesses of God’s infinite loving mercy.
Like the colors of the rainbow each contemplative community, each sister, shines with her own special ‘color’ that gifts the whole. As we join hands and begin this dance may our swirl of color hope, peace, laughter, strength, love, wisdom, silence radiate redemptive joy giving witness to the Risen Christ to all the world.
This is the call of us all: to be a rainbow in the sky.