Mikebasil's Blog Eyes for a Rainbow.
Eyes for a Rainbow.
There isn’t much to be said for getting caught in a nasty little Autumnal shower on your way home from the shops but sometimes, just sometimes, it’s all worth it. Late this afternoon was a case in point. I had just battered my way through the worst of the shower, pawing the damp ruins of my hair from my face and grumbling to myself when the rain cloud broke in the west and the low sun broke through the clearing clouds and lit up the rain washed air in dazzling radiance. Instinctively I lifted my eyes to the east and there my soaking was rewarded.
Painted against the dark grey clouds scurrying away eastwards and arcing high into the sky above was the most brilliant rainbow I have seen in years. It was not alone either for, framing it above, was a complete secondary bow, paler and more diffuse than the primary, but magnificent nevertheless. It is unusual to see a complete pair of rainbows. Normally the secondary bow is only partial but this was a full bow from horizon to horizon mirroring the dazzling primary. It mirrored it in more ways than one too. If you ever see two rainbows together like this take a look at the colours in them. In the primary bow the colour indigo is on the inside of the bow and the red and orange to the outside. In the secondary bow the colours are reversed as if the rainbow has been turned inside out which, in a way, if you care to delve into the science of refraction, it has.
Stood on the street with the last drops of rain trickling down my face however I was simply mesmerised by the ethereal beauty of the spectacle laid before me. I stood entranced as other shoppers bustled past, eager for shelter. The rain seemed a small price to pay for this loveliness. How many rainbows do you see in a lifetime? Perhaps hundreds but never so many that you can ever tire of their wonder. I blessed providence that I yet had the eyes to see it.
Yet those eyes have grown fragile. Over the last couple of years my vision of the world has been slowly fading like the rainbow growing dimmer in the eastern sky and the clarity with which I once beheld the beauty of the world about me has gradually milked over behind an obscuring veil of muddiness. A few months ago I was diagnosed with cataracts, an occlusion of the lenses, in both eyes. Perhaps thirty years ago such a diagnosis would have condemned me to eventual blindness. By a miracle of the times in which I lived that is no longer necessarily true. Now cataracts can be eliminated through surgery. On Friday of this week I face the first of two operations to hopefully restore my vision.
The operation terrifies me. I have bothered my friends to distraction with my pusillanimous worries. I can’t help it. Some people think that the operation is simply something straightforward involving lasers. It is nothing of the sort. Cataract surgery does not employ lasers at all. In essence it is a transplant operation. The damaged occluded lens is destroyed and removed through a tiny incision at the side of the eye and replaced with an artificial silicon transplant. It is delicate tricky stuff. About one in a hundred operations may involve minor complications; one in a thousand may have complications serious enough to cause loss of vision. Those odds don’t comfort me. If somebody offered me a ten pound roll of a dice in the chance of becoming a millionaire I’d probably jump at it.
So I have fretted and worried. But stood on the street today and watching the glory of that rainbow I know I have no option. I have spent my life in continual astonishment at the sheer beauty and magnificence of the world about me. I have gloried in it; revelled in it and thanked providence for this fleeting moment of existence to witness it. I could lose my legs, my hands, be hideously disfigured or crippled but give me the clarity of my eyes to behold the beauty of this universe and the clarity of my mind to adore it for the rest of my days and I shall count myself blessed indeed.