In early June 2001, I traveled to Scotland with my father and stepmother, a journey that took me deep into my Scottish roots. We hopped from one mystical landscape to the next. From Isle to Skye with the MacLeod’s Dunvegan castle to Barra of the McNeil’s and North and South Uiste. And one of the most spiritual places I have ever visited- Iona. It was a reoccurring pattern for me, to my family’s dismay, to wake up early, walk the misty hills and journal about this majestic place.
While I could not contact mom while I was travelling, I did think of her on my trip. One day, during a morning walk down a road in South Uiste, I saw the most gorgeous rainbow fall from the misty clouds over the town. On one of the ferry rides, I felt the wind on my face as I watched double rainbows skip over the rough waters.
After my mom’s death, I would see a rainbow in the most unusual places. A rainbow between to clouds or straight up in the air over the house. Rainbows became a thing, something between my mom and me.
I wasn’t expecting to see rainbows traveling to Tuscaloosa to pick up our artwork from the exhibit hall. I was focused on seeing friends, reflecting on the place where I had lived and celebrating the gift of creativity that I have so often denied in my life and fought so hard to retain in times of conformity to the social norms and ways of “the real world.”
Driving home from this trip, I was more reflective than usual, and also found myself more optimistic. I knew that my mother would be proud of who I had become, my life with Barton, my work and writing. Truly, the girl in Tuscaloosa had been shed away, and a new woman emerged. I could not return to this place where I was.
On the day I drove home, I saw two rainbows driving into Atlanta. One, the light of sun shining through the rain. My heart truly shone with all the colors of the rainbow.
This was a mom and me moment.