Every time I see a rainbow, a natural occurrence very common here in Provence, I think of the Skittles commercial where this girl's voice comes on at the end, very hushed: "Taste the rainbow." On our annual end-of-season trip to Italy I had the fortune to not only see one but two rainbows - parallel and equally beautiful - right in front of us, above the coast line of Cinque Terre which we were visiting.
|double rainbow over the Med in early October|
But what does a rainbow mean, where does it come from, where does it end? Legend has it that at the end of every rainbow sits a leprechaun, described as being no more than 2 feet tall. Leprechauns supposedly spend all their time busily making shoes, and legend has it that if you can keep your gaze fixed on them long enough that they are compelled to reveal the whereabouts of their pot of gold. The idea that a pot of gold can be found at the rainbow's end originated somewhere in old Europe.
The scientific explanation is that a rainbow is one of nature's most splendid masterpieces. A rainbow is an excellent demonstration of the dispersion of light and one more piece of evidence that visible light is composed of a spectrum of wave lengths, each associated with a distinct color. To view a rainbow, your back must be to the sun as you look at an approximately 40 degree angle above the ground into a region ...more here
But whatever the reason, origin or chemical composition: a rainbow is a beautiful sight, free to all and for all to enjoy!