I’m safely back home from my Hawaiian vacation, thank God. Though I thoroughly enjoyed swimming in waters the color of minty-fresh mouthwash, seeing smiling faces everywhere, and navigating a language which resembled my tiles rack at the end of a game of Scrabble (too few consonants, too many vowels), I’m ready to step into my reality of journalist, musician, and hospital employee in hectic central NJ.
Deciding the two-week Hawaiian sojourn would serve as a mental “control-alt-delete” on the keyboard of my fast-paced life, I made some promises to God and myself for a few long-delayed attitude adjustments. But how do you co-sign a contract with God? Pinky-swearing hardly seemed appropriate, and my computer was back in the Garden State, so an email was out of the question. How could I mark the occasion? Then God gave me a reminder, the same one he gave Noah centuries before when He promised never again to send floodwaters to destroy the earth.
Each morning on vacation, I sipped my morning coffee while seated on the 37th-floor balcony of my cousin’s condo in Honolulu. The building, perched on the edge of the Ala Wai Canal, afforded me a 180-degree view of the Pacific Ocean and downtown Waikiki, even the extinct volcano Diamond Head. Often, rain clouds obscured the mountain’s peak, and I was treated to a brilliant rainbow as they dissipated. On the last full day of vacation, the phenomenon was particularly amazing: the multi-colored arc stretched across the sky for miles. I grabbed my cellphone and snapped the photo on the right, and said “Mahalo” (thank you) for the gift.
God added: This is the sign that I am giving for all ages to come, of the covenant between me and you and every living creature with you… As the bow appears in the clouds, I will see it and recall the everlasting covenant that I have established between God and all living beings – all mortal creatures that are on the earth. (Genesis 9:12-15)
Now, don’t go all “Bill Nye the Science Guy” on me: I understand the concept of light refracting through the raindrops and splitting into the R-O-Y-G-B-I-V spectrum. Though meteorological mumbo-jumbo might explain God’s little light show that morning, I know it was His hand stretched out across the years, from Noah and his descendants to me, as a promise of His help if I were smart enough to ask for it.
Whenever I behaved particularly abrasive as a child, my mother would sigh and say, “You could be so much nicer if you sanded off the rough edges.” Perhaps this new rainbow-promise, aloha-spirit Hawaiian experience will serve as an emery board for my personality; a little extra prayer and some humor might do the trick. Stay tuned.