When I was a child, someone gave me a many-faceted glass prism. When the prism is placed in the right window, and when the sun comes through at the proper angle, it throws an array of brilliant rainbows around the room. A light tap sends the rainbows spinning in a wild dance of light and colour.
In my current home, I was happy to discover that by hanging this prism in my office, every single sunny morning would result in this effect. I started calling out “It’s Rainbow Day!” which would bring our kids running in to chase after the patches of colour. If you’ve ever played with a cat and a laser pointer, it’s the same effect. Trying to catch the rainbows is a rather futile activity, but never ceases to entertain. It’s a wonderful way to start a day.
There is something innately magical about rainbows, isn’t there? Does anyone really get tired of seeing one appear up in the sky? It’s no wonder that they have played an important role in the mythologies of so many cultures (Australian, Greek, Norse, Irish, Judeo-Christian etc…). You may see rainbows as an environmental phenomenon, a symbol of gay pride, a spiritual message, or an opportunity to find a pot of gold. Whether they appear in the sky, in the spray of a backyard hose, or dancing around a room, I never cease to enjoy their presence.
Don’t forget about this guy and his double rainbow: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQSNhk5ICTI
Ever since I first learned the phrase “ROY G. BIV,” I have always had an affinity for things arranged in the “correct” order of the spectrum. Ok, maybe I’ll call it a compulsion rather than an affinity. If all the colours of the rainbow are there, why doesn’t anyone else feel the need to arrange them that way? (Crayons, plastic cups…etc.) They just look better!
Discussions on light refraction can wait for another day. For now, I am happy to let my children delight in the dancing rainbows on Rainbow Day. Plus, it’s hard to stay grouchy, even if you’re the most stubborn, sulking six-year old, when you’re watching the rainbows dance.