Blog Archives

The Rainbow Connection

June 29, 2013 Rainbow

June 29, 2013 Rainbow

Last night, I enjoyed the most beautiful and perfect rainbow I have ever seen.

It arrived exactly on the anniversary of last year’s June 29 derecho, the scariest storm I’ve ever experienced.

Ironically, the events of both evenings were similar.

Last year, I was supervising my daughter and her best friend as they swam. Last night, I was at a pool party where my daughter and her best friend were once again swimming. doublerainbowAnd, last night, just like the year before, a sudden and unexpected storm blew in.

Unlike last year’s storm, which brought fallen trees, downed power lines and electrical outages, last night’s storm brought the perfect rainbow, and for a few minutes, a double rainbow.

It also brought a reminder.

Sometimes, the only thing we get from weathering life’s storms is the strength we find in our struggles. But sometimes we get a brief glimpse at all the beauty and hope that the world offers.

Standing in awe of nature last night, I was also reminded that in addition to symbolizing promise, the rainbow also symbolizes diversity and inclusiveness.

Not only did the rainbow shine bright on the anniversary of the derecho, it also served as the ending punctuation mark on a historical week.

On Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court delivered a victory for gay rights. It ruled that married same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits and effectively allowed same-sex marriages in California.

The fight for equality may not be over, but those decisions, like the rainbows, hold promise.

Thinking of that, a song from my childhood has been stuck in my head all day. Unlike some songs, which can be rather annoying, “The Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie is simply making me smile.

The Rainbow Connection by Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
and what’s on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
and rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we’ve been told and some choose to believe it.
I know they’re wrong, wait and see.
Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Who said that every wish would be heard
and answered when wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that and someone believed it.
Look what it’s done so far.
 What’s so amazing that keeps us star gazing
and what do we think we might see?
Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

All of us under its spell. We know that it’s probably magic.

Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices?
I’ve heard them calling my name.
Is this the sweet sound that called the young sailors.
The voice might be one and the same.
I’ve heard it too many times to ignore it.
It’s something that I’m supposed to be.
Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Remember When Mother’s Day Was Considered a “Gay” Holiday? Maybe It Still Is.

As a child, I adored Mother’s Day. Just like Halloween and Christmas, it held the purposiveness of preparation and the excitement of anticipation.

I was incredibly intent the year I had to make a corsage for my mom out of tissue paper. While my fellow students curled the colorful  paper around their pencil erasers then glued it to cardboard to resemble bright flowers, I felt the need to put order to chaos. The result was a smiling face that, in retrospect, bore a striking likeness to the Wal-Mart smiley face.

My mother never hesitated to wear the hideous yellow corsage.  In fact, she wore it all day on Mother’s Day, even though it thoroughly clashed with her dress.

I was incredibly proud the year I played Mary Poppins in the Mother’s Day program. Families were required to provide the props, and because my frugal family didn’t have a normal umbrella, I twirled a hideous clear, plastic one shaped like a mushroom as I danced through boxes painted like chimneys. I resembled Mary Poppins about as much as I resembled Grace Kelly.

I was incredibly naive when I bought my mother a card that described Mother’s Day as a “gay” holiday.

I’m a lot older now, and I’m a lot less naive.

But I still don’t have a problem describing Mother’s Day as a gay holiday, especially this year.

That’s because, as I’ve aged, Mother’s Day has come to mean more than simply honoring and thanking my own mom. It’s also become a day to reflect on what being a good mother is.

While my experience is limited to 14 years, I’ve come to recognize three primary truths about being a parent:

1.   A mother’s  primary responsibility is to ensure that her children grow up to be responsible adults;

2.  Every child is different, so there is no “right” way to be a parent;

3. Teaching our children to defend and stand up for those who are different is much more important than teaching them how to be popular or stylish.

This week, our President served as a parent to our entire nation when he publicly declared his support of gay marriage. I know the motivations behind his statements can be disputed, but I choose to believe that he was guided by his sense of morality and his need to  set an example for all of us.

I heard his message loud and clear; if we tolerate hate and intolerance wrapped in religion then we are acting in direct opposition to the principles on which our country was established: a country in which all people are supposed to be treated equally.

So, while I seriously doubt my children will ever used their hard-earned allowance to buy a card that describes Mother’s Day as gay, I know that if they do, I would be honored to receive it. After all, it might be describing a holiday that looks beyond stereotypes and bias and unites us with a purpose of increasing tolerance for the next generation.

I can certainly hope.