Wednesday, 7 August 2013

On the way, a rainbow

As we were driving home on the Trans Canada on Monday, we were gifted with the unusual sight of a rainbow spanning the mountains:



I wanted to share this bit of unexpected beauty. A couple more views:



Shortly after noticing the rainbow, we noticed the large queue of vehicles parked on the side of the highway, as people stopped to take pictures. Usually when you see cars parked by the side of this fast-moving highway, you look for a  bear on the side of the  road. In this case however, the rainbow was the object of attraction. We joined the crowd, got the photos, and then managed continue on our way without causing any accidents, as I hope all the other sky-watchers also did. (But I could see the headline in my mind already: "Multi-car pile-up on the Trans Canada attributed to Rainbow!")

Of course the rainbow has a lot of cultural meanings, most of which have something to do with bridging heaven and earth, or gods communicating with humans. (Iris, from Greek mythology, is my personal favourite.)  I considered calling this post something heavily suggestive like "After the Storm" (there was a wicked storm prior to the rainbow's appearance) but then I realized that I have no desire to throw up rainbow-y platitudes.

But I feel very happy to have seen the rainbow. It is an unexpectedly sublime surprise, experienced while driving home on a busy highway at around 6pm. Even though the drive through Banff National Park and Bow Valley Provincial Park is stunningly beautiful on any occasion, let's face it: when you are driving on a highway at dinner time on the last day of a holiday weekend, heading home, the highway is a means to an end. You keep your foot on the gas pedal, focus on the traffic, feel tired or even grouchy, and don't usually make that much of the experience. Then suddenly there is a rainbow.  Suddenly random commuters shared the experience of observing something utterly perfect. We didn't just pass through; we held a moment in time.

I loved every second of it.

14 comments:

  1. Wow, what beautiful pictures! Thank you for sharing :) I'm glad you stopped to enjoy the moment; this will be a happy memory to look back on. I hope you two had a great trip!

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    1. Thanks! It was a fun trip but very short.

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  2. So beautiful! Once I saw it was Banff though, I wasn't surprised. My friend used to work at a getaway in Banff and sent all kinds of beautiful photos from her stay. The whole place seemed like one big photo op! Glad you got some zen on your long drive home.

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    1. Yes, Banff is beautiful. The drive had been pretty exhausting so this was a good wake up aid.

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    1. Thank you! I've driven this road countless times but have never seen anything quite like it.

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  4. That is absolutely amazing. Gorgeous photos!!

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  5. Thanks! Just had to share the excitement it brought me.

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  6. So breath takingly beautiful! Rainbows means hope to me :)

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    1. I'm glad it brought you a message of hope :-)

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  7. So beautiful. I love rainbows!

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  8. Glad you enjoyed the photos! rainbows are magical, I'm not surprised there are so many stories and myths and beliefs about them.

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  9. Thought it looked familliar! We drove to banff for our honeymoon.

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    1. Cool! I am glad you got to enjoy Banff. Never get tired of driving through there.

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