Photograph courtesy of Susan Utterback

In this photo, what do you see? Impending rain? A fragment of a rainbow? A broad beach? Jagged rocks? All the above?

For me, it inspired the notion that a rainbow had struck, like lightning. A raging rainbow. A clap of color. Never in the same place twice.

I love rain. And I love a rainbow. Skies might hold both, simultaneously, even rainbows in tandem. In 2020, though, we’ve been continually pelted by grim news, dire warnings, messages of impending disaster. A mention of rain in the forecast can put us over the top, sending us running for cover with a heightened sense of panic.

I admit I keep a large umbrella on the back seat of our Subaru. Even the brand of car we drive tells you we strive to be prepared for anything. (Of course, we keep a family-pack of toilet tissue in the trunk.)

This wonderful photo was borrowed from Susan Utterback, a fly fishing friend. (Ask her about the joys of fostering dogs in need, and her service in Rotary International.) This photo speaks to me of our current situation. The vista is broad, the skies are somber, the opposite shoreline is beyond our seeing. But a rainbow comes through, reminding us that bright spots can be found in the turmoil, urging us to carry on, to give each day our best and, even, to love our neighbor—all our neighbors. Invest each day with energy, with creativity. And share.

Susan’s photo transports me to a lovely beach far away, but closer to home, I hear this in the background:

The sound of water running in the shower, my husband Jimmy’s wet footprints from the bathmat to the counter, on the floor, I will later find two foot-shaped puddles of water spreading into one. Atop the counter, an index card—I keep a few in a drawer—on the card an inked sketch of some mechanical thing. Words echo against the tile, “I figured out how to fix the winch!”

“That’s great, honey!” He can’t see my smile. The image he has sketched is smudged. The edges of the card are damp. Ah! There’s a fix for that, too. I go to my laptop and locate the website.


Years back my brother supervised a crew building a community gathering place. The structure towered over a river. The water’s flow was deep and swift; constant sound emanated from the scouring of its granite bed. The climate was iffy—downpour, drizzle, sometimes snow, morning and evening chilling mists.

Weather. But a worker does not quit.

My brother is also an author, aka: The Peanut Butter Kid. Inspiration strikes when it will.

A recent gift to him was a small notebook—waterproof. I added a small, flat pencil (no eraser).

When building supplies are needed, or a story idea takes shape, such can be recorded.

Whatever the weather.

Now I will get these items for Jimmy, also.

Writing in the rain—would you? Or would you wait for the storm to pass and risk the idea’s passing, too?

Even the brightest thought might be fleeting.

Tuck a pencil in your pocket—

With or without an eraser.

And get yourself a waterproof notebook.

Artwork by Jimmy Kamada

Artwork by Jimmy Kamada