That Pot of Gold

The forecast said there was only a 10 per cent chance of rain, so I didn’t bother with an umbrella. Needless to say, I got wet as a flash storm hit Dottingen.


The rain hadn’t stopped when the rainbow came out. I saw it first over the post office, then, as I began walking back to Sulzburg, I could see it over the vineyards. And touching down. At times it was a double rainbow, though one of them was rather faint.


I don’t think I have ever been so close to a rainbow before. I had to find out for myself if the legends of leprechauns and pots of gold were true. So I headed for the end, where the gold is supposed to be located. It looked like it was only a couple of hundred metres away, just before the highway leading to Staufen.

Very quickly I discovered why that pot of gold is so elusive. As I moved towards the rainbow, it moved away from me. The end crossed the highway and moved up the slopes of Castellberg. No matter how quickly I moved, I couldn’t catch up to it.


Probably just as well. The end of the rainbow moved beyond Castellberg and into the forest. There are no leprechauns in the Black Forest. The supernatural creatures dwelling there are not as friendly as those Irish sprites are reported to be. If you don’t know what you are doing, you are better off avoiding them.

Okay, I was joking. About the leprechauns and the gold anyway. Though I did try and see if I could actually stand at the spot where the rainbow touches the earth. And it did move away from me.

I’m sure there is a scientific explanation for why that happens. Science can explain the what of a rainbow. The why comes from the book of Genesis:

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between Me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set My rainbow in the clouds, and it will be a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. Whenever I form clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember My covenant between Me and you and all living creatures: Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. And whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of every kind that is on the earth.” So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between Me and all living things on the earth.”

As I saw the rainbow in the sky over Dottingen, it was that covenant that came to mind first, not a mythical pot of gold. It’s been thousands of years (I’ll let you do the math) but God is still remembering his promise. There may be a scientific explanation for what is happening when we see a rainbow, but the “why” is much more important than the “how.”


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