As I was driving home, it started to rain while the sun was out, and I could just detect the beginnings of rainbow. It reminded me that ever since we moved to Colorado six years ago, we have seen numerous rainbows, and I started to wonder why. Scientifically, when it rains, the raindrops act as a prism. When sunlight passes through the raindrops at the proper angle it is split into its spectrum, which is made up of the colors of the rainbow.
So why all the rainbows here in Colorado? I’ve come up with a couple of reasons — one, is that we get an awful lot of sunshine here, even on days when we get rain as well. They say we get on average 300 days of sunshine. And secondly, it frequently rains in the afternoon or evening, when the sun is lower, thus creating that prism effect of a rainbow.
One of the prettiest rainbows I ever saw wasn’t actually here in Colorado. When I was working and living at Capitol Reef, there was actually a double rainbow one evening. The combination of the double rainbow, with the red rocks underneath it was quite striking. For some reason, seeing a rainbow always brings a smile to my face and makes me feel hopeful, even on a bad day. Here’s a great quote I saw about rainbows that echoes this sentiment:
“And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.”
— Gilbert Chesterton