Rainbows, beautiful ribbons of color streaking across an ashen sky, always amaze me. It never fails, I see one of them, and it brings a smile to my face. Rainbows form from the reflection, refraction, and dispersion of light in water, resulting in a spectrum of colors. They are a natural phenomenon, inspiring, and joyful.
I have little prisms hanging in various windows of my home, so I can enjoy the tiny strips of color when the light hits them just right. I do believe we can’t have enough rainbows. I also believe we can’t have enough hugs.
Hugs are that safe physical connection that we can make with just about anybody. We share them in times of joy, like at weddings, reunions, and sporting events. We share them at times of grief, like funerals, long goodbyes, and sporting events. We hug family, friends, strangers, and even our pets.
Hugs are an embrace that transcends most words. When you hug someone, you are saying, “I am here for you. I care about how you feel. I want to help.” Unlike words, a hug comes straight from the heart. In fact, your heart is physically the closest it can get to another’s when you hug someone.
Like rainbows, hugs make you feel better. They are a simple act that has so much meaning and emotion. Like the vibrant colors in the grey sky, a hug can brighten up your day. Just like the fleeting rainbow, we should cherish each hug we get.
The hug is a sign of love and connection from one to another. This is similar to the rainbow. There are many instances where the rainbow represents a connection between God/gods and humans. In Norse Mythology, there is a rainbow called the Bifröst Bridge. This connects the realms of Ásgard (home of the gods) and Midgard (home of humans).
In Chinese mythology, the goddess Nüwa is known for creating humankind and repairing the pillar of heaven. She used stones of five different colors to seal the sky with a rainbow and end the chaos and floods.
Greco-Roman mythology is not without its rainbows. The goddess Iris is the personification of the rainbow and messenger of the gods. Iris made the rainbow between Earth and Heaven, and it links the gods to humanity.
The Bible also has a rainbow. In the book of Genesis, God sent a great flood to remove the sinful and evil-minded man from the earth. God created the rainbow as a sign of his covenant with Noah, that he would never again send a flood to destroy us all.
Maybe this fortune is spot on. Maybe hugs are not just our way of connecting with each other, but also a way for God to work through us and make us better. It is hard to feel anger and hate when you are hugging someone.
In light of recent events, if I may be so bold to suggest, I think we should share more hugs. As children, we don’t have a lot of hate and resentment in our hearts. Kids hug, laugh and see each other for who they are. As we grow older, those bad feelings take hold and make us bitter. If adults were more like children and hugged each other more often, perhaps we wouldn’t have as much evil and war in the world.
If enough of us chose to hug instead of hate, perhaps we can spread love farther than a rainbow can reach.