Double Rainbow

I remember a few years back stumbling across a Youtube video of a guy freaking out over a double rainbow. I’m sure many of you saw it. I went completely viral and had millions of views. I guess the man who starred in the video was high on some sort of hallucinogenic drug and could not contain his bliss over the beauty of the double rainbow.

The time I first saw the video I was relaxing in my happy place out in Michigan with a dear friend and my then girlfriend, now wife Christiana. I laughed so hard at Mr. Double Rainbow’s reaction and thought that he was a weird, aging hippie. As I sit here today, I am more tuned in to different perspective of his experience. All I can think of now was his total bliss.

On Day Five of our trip I had my Double Rainbow Day. No I didn’t take any acid or mushrooms or smoke anything at all. No there were not two full rainbows in the sky at the same time. There were on the other hand countless moments of what I can only describe as pure bliss.

My day started with a full night’s rest for the first time on the journey. The combination of experiences and driving and nightlife with the Guinness and the whiskey had finally caught up with me. I found myself in bed well before midnight the night before. So in the morning I awoke at 7:00 a.m within a short walk from the Salthill beach in Galway. It didn’t take long for me to get my self together and head off to the beach.

I started my morning with some yoga and martial arts practice for the first time in a few days. It was windy and a bit cold on the beach, but I knew the sun was coming up over the clouds to my left and it would warm the sea air fairly soon. I kicked off my sandals and put my bare feet on the cold sand and started to run through my forms. Over my right shoulder as I faced the water was the channel that leads out to the wild Atlantic Ocean. Across the view in front of me on the other side of the channel was an area called The Burren, which would be our destination for the afternoon.

unnamed-20After I got about halfway through my first round of forms I noticed a small streak of a rainbow coming up from sea level extending to the sky. There seemed to be no trace of rain or rainclouds; just a beam of multi-colored light streaming up out of the sea. I continued with my forms and after each form I looked back in the direction of the rainbow only to notice a bit more of it as it grew across the sky. By the time I had finished my practice the rainbow had connected with Mother Earth at the other end. Words cannot describe the beauty of the moment or the bliss I felt in my heart.

During my practice an elderly woman had gone down to take a dip in the Ocean. The air temperature was not more that 50 degrees Fahrenheit and I don’t imagine the water was much warmer than that. I had a pair of yoga shorts under my workout pants so I thought I’d take a walk towards the water and stick a toe in to see how it felt. Surprisingly it felt warm. The sea was probably freezing cold, but it felt warm because it was warmer than the air. It was inviting. I accepted the invitation.

I toke off my jacket and vest and workout pants. I removed the bandana on my head and my undershirt. I walked out into the water slowly and answered the call to cleanse myself in the sea in this moment of bliss. The water was colder now that I was actually in it, but I knew that I had to get my whole body submerged. It was a baptism that I needed on this morning and in this moment in time. I was only in the water for a moment but the effects were exactly as needed. My bliss continued to grow.

Christiana was not feeling well so she slept in a bit later. We had planned on leaving Galway by 9:30 a.m. Like many plans on this trip, we operated on Irish time. I’ve learned that Irish time can mean anything from 15 minutes behind schedule up to an hour. At times I found this adjustment maddening. At times it has helped me learn to be more in the moment.

When we did finally depart Galway we pointed our convoy of nine in the direction of The Cliffs of Moher. I have had two previous trips to Ireland and on both occasions the Cliffs have been cut out of the agenda. I was determined to see the Cliffs this time around. On the way to the Cliffs we made a stop at a rugged part of the Atlantic coast for a special reflection. It was powerful and healing. The purpose shall only be know to those on the journey, but the moment in time was too important not to mention.

unnamed-15We reached the Cliffs of Moher about 4:00 p.m. which was much later than we expected. It had been raining on and off all day, yet when we arrived at the Cliffs the sun came out and lit up the sea and the earth in ways that words or photos can barely describe. I had finally come to a place that I had hoped to visit twice prior. My quest was satisfied. My bliss grew even further.

unnamed-19After we departed the Cliffs we made a stop at St. Brigid’s well. St. Brigid is a Saint in the Catholic church as well as an key figure in ancient Celtic history. I will leave it to you to Google what you wish to learn about St. Brigid on your own, but one of the main reasons St. Brigid is important to me is because she represents the common thread between various Spiritual practices that inspire me without attachments to labels of origin or religion.

In the well itself we found thousands of prayer cards from funeral services and other offerings to St. Brigid. At the back of the well on the right hand side there is an enclave for nightlights or what we in America call candles. I may stick with the word nightlights going forward because the meaning seems so much deeper. At the extreme back of the well is the actual running stream of water that fills the basin. I knelt at the basin and took a flower petal that Rob had given me which had been blessed by Mother Meera. I broke it in half and dropped half in the well basin and swallowed the other half to carry the energy forward with me.

Before we left the enclosure of the well we left we left a prayer card from Richard’s services. If you are not familiar with Richard you can either read back further into this blog site at previous posts or just wait. You will know of him at some point down the road. After I left the well I turned and went back in and captured a short video of the moment so I could remember it with my eyes also. I could erase the video because I will always remember the moment in my soul.

unnamed-18Our last stop of the day was the Grange Stone Circle in County Limerick. This amazing structure dates back to 2100 BC. It has 113 standing stones. I had read that the circle is aligned with the Summer Solstice sunrise, but have since heard that it is actually aligned with the sunrise on Lughnasadh, which is an ancient Celtic celebration marking the start of the harvest season. Lughnasadh is celebrated halfway in between the Solstice and the Autumnal Equinox typically on August 1st. Our late in the day arrival corresponded with the sunset, and it could not have been more perfectly timed.

We took about a half hour for each of us to explore the grounds of the circle on our own. We leaned on rocks, climbed on trees, sat in the grass and absorbed the energies of a place that has been used for sacred rituals for over 4000 years. As the sun approached the horizon and dusk drew nearer, we started our own ritual. We started to drum.

unnamed-16We had each staked out our own areas in the circle. By coincidence it seemed that four of us had aligned with North, South, East and West within the circle. Others had filled in at the halfway points, which in the circle would have aligned with the halfway points between the solstices and the equinoxes, in other words the Celtic Holidays Imboic, Beltaine, Lughnasadh and Samhain. I sat at the North end of the circle with my eyes closed as I was drumming. At one point I felt compelled to open my eyes and when I did, I noticed a full rainbow to the East. Once again there was no evidence of rain, just a magnificent streak of colors across the sky.

So as the sun set in the West, I sat in a stone circle that was built for ritual ceremonies over 4000 years ago. I was vibrating with the sound and the feel of my own drum and the drums of my friends who were sharing this spectacular moment in time and space. The sense of peace in the air and on the earth was like none I have felt before in this lifetime. As the rainbow faded to the East, the colors of the Fall sky sunset ran ablaze behind the silhouettes of the tress in the West. The sound of the drums began to fade as we all let the moment draw to a close. It was organic. I had found my own Double Rainbow Day.

Double Rainbow. Double Rainbow. Double Rainbow. It’s so beautiful. Ah the bliss…

unnamed-17

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About Jim Herbert

I've been wanting to write my whole life. By age 45 it had amounted to nothing more than a storage locker of half full journals and a lot of unfulfilled dreams. Then Paris in the fall of 2011 happened. It was the catalyst I needed to consistently blog. At first I had a hard time hitting the publish button, but now two blog sites and over 300 posts later I'm hitting my stride. I'm also a budding speech writer. I've recently been heavily involved in the Chicago Storytelling scene and have also won the Chicago Toastmasters Area 66 International Speech Contest. Check out our website at www.emergingintojoy.com for more details about the amazing things that are happening in my life. A book or two are nearing completion. With another Paris trip on tap for Easter of 2015 I can only imagine that there are Infinite Possibilities on the horizon!!!
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