As a former English teacher who spent 18 years in the classroom and now someone who basically writes and speaks for a living, I have always been intrigued by our language. Even as a child, I enjoyed learning new words and then using them in sentences. I have found that there are many strange elements to the English language, and I have often wondered where many of them came from.
I have heard a phrase numerous times recently that has given me cause to consider – “Sunshine & Rainbows.” The phrase has been used to describe the way life often works. “You know, it’s not always going to be all sunshine & rainbows.” I find this phrase interesting and mildly confusing at the same time because these two elements do not necessarily go together. While, yes, you can see a rainbow when the sun hits the rain clouds just right, the key element of a rainbow is rain. Heck, it’s even in the name – “rain”bow.
Hearing the statement, “Life’s not all sunshine & rainbows,” numerous times over the last few months, I got to thinking about the meaning. That statement is intended to mean that life is not always easy. There are going to be difficult times that we will all deal with. However, it sounds as if sunshine and rainbows are almost one and the same. They are metaphors for the bright, positive, happy things that happen to us.
I get it. I see the meaning. However, while I think of the metaphor of sunshine as fitting for the concept of joyous, happy times, rainbows should really be viewed a little differently. Of course, rainbows are beautiful, and they bring great joy to many people. The rainbow is often associated with brightness, color, beauty, and joy. Those are all fitting for what rainbows look like.
However, when you think about rainbows, you realize that they occur most often during times of rain. Sometimes, they occur during storms. While sunshine is a key element that allows us to see the rainbow, the rainbow itself happens where there are clouds and often rain. Clouds and rain are usually NOT part of the metaphor of the joy of sunshine. In fact, people often use clouds, rain, and storms as metaphors for the tough times that people go through.
This is why I love the concept of a rainbow in its true form. We are all going to have dark, cloudy, stormy moments in our lives. Every day of life is not filled with sunshine. In fact, if it was, we would struggle to ever grow anything. The world would dry out. We would struggle to survive because we would not have the water necessary to grow the plants we need to survive. We need the rain, and the rain comes from the clouds. Therefore, we need the dark moments for us to have the things in our lives that give us life.
This is where the rainbow lives, and this is where life comes from. When the light of the sun hits the darkness of clouds and the moisture of the rain just right, we see the rainbow. Have you ever noticed how sometimes when the clouds are the darkest, the rainbows seem to explode out of them and seem to be their most vibrant? Out of the deep darkness often comes the greatest light – the beauty of the rainbow.
The same can be said for our lives. When we are faced with difficult times, it is hard to see the light. We often focus only on how dark and gloomy our lives are. We see the clouds as being oppressive, keeping the light out of our lives. But as the rainbow appears, we are transformed. We see the beauty, the light, the possibility that something amazing can come out of the darkness. The rainbow provides us a glimmer of hope that darkness will pass and the light will soon take its place.
What does any of this sunshine and rainbow talk have to do with youth and school athletics? It is a metaphor for what you will face this school year and this season in many different ways. As you enter the coming school year and season with new teams and new challenges, you will be faced with difficulties and storms. Don’t let those get you down. Accept them, and embrace them for what they are and what they will soon bring. They are necessary. They are the moments that must happen for you to experience the rainbows that will come from them. Out of the darkness of the tough times will come the rainbows of joy, and eventually, the sunshine that will lead to a positive light that comes into your life.
You can’t have the rainbow without the rain. Embrace and enjoy the various weather patterns that come into your life this year. Recognize them for what they are – important elements that will help shape the light and joy to follow. Your life will be fuller, and you will be stronger because of the richness and diversity that these different weather patterns of living bring to you.
Well, that was different! Would love to know what you thought of my foray into the world of language today! It will be back to my more usual type of post next time. Leave a comment on what you thought of this one in the “Comments” section or on the CwC Facebook page.