Sunrise rainbow: sacred surprise on the canvas of the sky

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, November 30, 2017

This nearly 180-degree sunrise-to-rainbow panorama on a surprisingly rainy late-November morning in the Bow Valley inspired Vistas of Gleneagles residents Gary and Sandy Kooistra to contemplate God’s artistry on the canvas of the sky. Photo by Gary Kooistra

Just after 8:00 AM last Thursday, Nov. 23, Cochrane readers Gary and Sandy Kooistra were sipping their morning coffee at their Vistas of Gleneagles home. As they glanced out their southwest-facing window, they saw something unusual for this time of year. That time of day in late November, snow was the usual order of the day. But that morning it had been raining, and were they ever in for a breathtaking surprise.

Now, breathtaking views from their place looking across the Bow Valley are not at all unusual for Gary and Sandy. You may recall four of Gary’s photos of skies above the valley that I featured in my Aug. 13, 2015 column.

But this was special. As the sun rose in the southeast, a small rainbow began to form to the northwest.

“To get rain, and in addition rainbows, is amazing this time of the year,” Gary says. “Over the next couple of moments that small rainbow grew into a full rainbow, with the second one just to its left.

“My wife and I started to take pictures from our deck and I decided to take a panoramic shot to capture the whole view. Sometimes a picture does not do justice to the real view we are experiencing. This picture, however, came very close.”

At 8:15, cell phone in hand, he took the photo accompanying this week’s column. The nearly 180-degree panorama begins with the sunrise at the far left, moves west up the valley and across a hint of mountains and some of the more distant homes in Gleneagles, and ends at the far right with nearby homes nestled beneath the double rainbow that caught the attention of so many other avid photographers around Cochrane that morning.

But Gary’s photo is distinctly different from all the other great photos I’ve seen of that heavenly event. In one image, Gary shows us both the rainbow itself and the source of the rainbow in the opposite direction: the sun.

As I said in my earlier column on Gary and Sandy’s delight in the sky, such moments remind them of the opening of Psalm 19: “The heavens are telling the glory of God.”

About such moments, Gary says:

“We have numerous sky pictures and we believe God is using the sky as a canvas for His paintings. Amazingly, it is never the same and will change from moment to moment. It is a bit like the ice sculptures at Lake Louise. It will not last; it must be experienced in the moment that it exists. We were just lucky that we experienced this moment and like to share this with others.”

Thank you, Gary and Sandy, for sharing that late-November sunrise rainbow moment with us.


© 2017 Warren Harbeck

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