There were a couple of minutes left before my class started Wednesday evening. My students were sitting on their mats in various states of chatting with neighbors and stretching. I was looking around the room, accessing my students, the class plan I had made for us that evening and making sure everyone had the props they would need for that class. Then I turned and glanced out the window to see the most perfect rainbow arching all the way across the sky. Each color in the spectral range between 700nm and 400nm was bright and distinct. Notice how I just reverted to science nerd speak, but that was where my mind went when I saw this rainbow. I immediately broke the colors down into their respective wavelengths. I instinctively reached for my camera, that was not with me.
I don't take my phone or my camera into my yoga classes. I leave those things in my scooter trunk or the glovebox in my car for obvious reasons.
I was reminded of a scene from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Walter Mitty travels the planet in search of Sean O'Connell, a photographer he works with in order to retrieve a roll of special film or something. He's looking for the answer to a question and Sean O'Connell is thought to have that answer. So Walter heads out on a search that has him traveling the globe. When he finally catches up to the famous photographer, they are in the snowy mountain ranges in Tibet. Sean O'Connell has been camped out in front of his camera there for days trying to capture images of the illusive snow lion. Walter sits with Sean, shivering in the cold, when suddenly a snow lion appears. Sean moves to take the picture, but he pauses. Walter asks him when is he going to take the picture and Sean responds "Sometimes I don't. If I like a moment, for me, personally, I don't like to have the distraction of the camera. I just want to stay in it."
"I don't like to have the distraction of the camera."
This scene remains one of my favorite and (to me) most beautiful lessons on being present. The distraction of the camera is the very reason why I leave them behind when I go in to teach my yoga class. My main focus and concern is for my students. When that rainbow showed up just before I started class, we all experienced the joy of seeing the beauty of that moment together. We marveled at the brightness of the colors and the clear separation of those colors and then I started class. That rainbow was with us all throughout our practice and when I walked out to my car there was still a section of faded colors streaking across the sky. And that is the rainbow I captured on my phone.
I am thankful for reminders to just be in a moment.
I am thankful for rainbows.