A Double Rainbow Double Take


i was walking home from my afternoon route a few weeks ago.

since it has been a stormy day, and the clouds were gathering once again, i had thought to text Kirsten and ask her to come pick me up. but then i thought that i could use the walk, so i didn’t bother.

as soon as i started walking, it started raining.

(cue Supertramp. or Warren Zevon. bonus points if you know both songs just referenced! post them in the ‘comment’ section below.)

i put my hood over my head and splashed through the cloudburst, paying more attention to the rantings throbbing in my head than the raindrops falling on it.

after a few minutes, the downpour desisted, and the sun poked through the clouds.

as i continued to saunter along, i was startled by a young mom opening her front door and calling to her young son to come outside. she wanted him to see something brilliant and beautiful that had just appeared in the sky.

as if awakening from a gloomy nightmare, i stopped, lifted my head, and looked up.

and i saw this:


A double rainbow over Missoula.


a beautiful rainbow, seemingly emerging instantly right out of thin air.

a powerful reminder of a promise from the Creator that in the bigger picture, life is more about creation than destruction.

but before i walked on, i looked at my iPhone and remembered that i now have this cool little function on my camera called ‘panorama’. by pressing the shutter button and then panning from left to right over a broader space than can be normally captured in a regular size picture, you can create a panoramic, wide-angle shot.

so, with the rainbow still clearly visible in the sunny and stormy sky, i took a second picture.

a BIGGER picture.

and as i did, i noticed something else i had missed upon first glance.


A double rainbow over Missoula.


it was something unique in creation (although a more regular occurrence in the Montana part of creation).

a double rainbow.

which i wouldn’t have noticed if i hadn’t done a double take of the first rainbow.

which i wouldn’t have even noticed if a complete stranger hadn’t walked out her front door pointing it out to her son right at the moment i was passing their house, and awakened me to its presence in the first place.

which i wouldn’t have even experienced if i hadn’t decided to walk home in the rain.

in the ‘Urban Dictionary’, a ‘double rainbow’ is defined as something that is ‘ecstatically wondrous, joyfully amazing, even orgasmically blissful’.

this is NOT a description of how i was feeling on my walk. or after i experienced the vision of the double rainbow.

but in those split seconds where i was startled, and awakened to my surroundings, my head and heart raised up out of the monsoon of melancholia that had engulfed my spirit, my eyes enlightened by a vision that sent my senses soaring, i was enamoured in an experience that was ecstatically wondrous, joyfully amazing, even, in its own way, orgasmically blissful.

an infinite realm of passion and possibilities revealed and rendered in an unexpected apocalypse lasting no longer than a few stolen breaths and stuttering heartbeats.

a ‘double rainbow’ enacted by a double take.


To see more of Brian’s writing, check out the Brian Marsh main page here at Make it Missoula. And for even more, check out his personal blog, Apocalypso Now.


i’m a wanderer and a wonderer. a pastor who isn’t sure he’d attend church if he wasn’t pastoring one (and currently, i’m not), living with my unique and special family (my wife, Kirsten, and sons, Ian and Trevor) in a unique and beautiful place (Missoula, Montana). restless and lazy, usually amazed, always in process, i’m continually surprised and usually delighted at discovering the extraordinary in the ordinary, the ‘sacred’ in the ‘secular’, the shafts of light that sneak into the shrouds of darkness. i drum decently, surf poorly, love multicultural food, music, and community, and living in the ‘Zoo.