Dear Jon,

I wanted to do something to recognize your birthday. You would have been 47 today.

Two years ago, on the Sunday before your birthday, you took me to the top of Northcliff Ridge at sunset. We gazed down on a sea of blooming jacarandas and watched the sun drop behind the ridge in a red-orange blaze of glory. That was a really happy day for us.

So, this past Sunday I decided I would go back to Northcliff Ridge. I planned to sit up there at sunset, take photos, and reflect. It seemed like a good way to remember you.

As Sunday afternoon wore on, the clouds built and the wind picked up. Rain was on its way. The sky darkened, and I realized my visit to Northcliff Ridge wasn’t going to happen.

The rain came quickly, just before sunset. Then it stopped. I was settled on the couch with the Melville Cat, tapping away on my laptop, when I looked up and noticed an eerie glow in the window. I walked outside.

Arching down onto the Melville Koppies was the most perfect rainbow I’ve ever seen.

Rainbow over the Koppies. A double rainbow, in fact.

The rainbow hung around for several minutes. I took lots of photos, and I thought about you.

The light changed dramatically, several times.

Right before it went.

I was sad when the rainbow faded away. But rainbows — like most beautiful things in this world — can’t last forever. We wouldn’t appreciate them so much if they did.

The show wasn’t over yet though. After the rainbow disappeared, the setting sun lit the clouds on fire.

I’ll always remember the way the sky looked at that moment, and the way it made me feel. Because I know you were there.

Jon, thanks for the beautiful birthday present. And thanks for reminding me that I don’t always need to go out searching for beauty. Sometimes I must be patient and let the beauty find me.



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