A Pot of Gold and A Rainbow
With St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon, I’ve been thinking about the whole pot of gold at the end of the rainbow thing and decided to look up the origins of the story. It’s a cautionary tale about a farmer and his wife who discover a leprechaun in their garden. Upon being captured, the leprechaun makes a bargain with the couple: if they’ll agree to set him free, he’ll grant them one wish. The couple cannot decide on only one wish and start making numerous demands. Frustrated and impatient, the devious little dude promises they can have all the wishes they desire if they find the pot of gold he’s hidden at the end of the rainbow. The leprechaun escapes, leaving the farmers to spend their rest of their days searching for rainbows and treasure.
Turns out, it’s not a warm and fuzzy story, but a warning against greed! Nevertheless, after reading it, the wheels in my head began turning at warp speed as I pondered rainbows and treasures. Perhaps the rainbow can be seen as a metaphorical pathway to treasure, and it’s our journey along the path which enables us to obtain the prize. Am I the only one picturing a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow right now?
If all we have to do is make a wish and a pot of gold magically appears before us, how much would we really appreciate it? Is the value of any prize directly related to how much effort we put into obtaining it? What if our journey along the path has been difficult? Will we resent the prize when we do finally obtain it? Immersed in these thoughts, my next step was to research rainbows.
Everyone loves rainbows. I mean really. The gorgeous Roy G. Biv colors appear in a blue sky that emerges from threatening clouds, often the sign a storm has passed. At first the colors on the rainbow pathway are bright and cheery—dramatic red, fiery orange, sunny yellow, and vibrant green—but then they rapidly darken—first blue, then deepest indigo and violet. As long as we’re traveling in the lighter bands, our vision is clear and focused; but when we begin to slip into the darker bands, we can lose sight of our goal. We might even forget why we set out on the journey in the first place.
So, what about that leprechaun? It’s true he deceives the farmers, sending them on what might seem to be a futile search for a fictitious pot of gold. Yet, I can’t help but think that the very acts of exploring and journeying down unfamiliar paths will lead them (and us) to treasure. Perhaps these discoveries are not what we expect to find, but they are treasures nonetheless. May you figure out what you’re seeking, then stick to the path until you find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.