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Driving with Rainbows

The day dawned in typical early-Autumn fashion: rain showers interspersed with bursts of brilliant sunshine. I needed to leave early to take my car for service at Coffs Harbour, just over 32 km (approximately 20 miles) down the coast; so, armed with sunglasses and umbrella for all contingencies, I headed out of the resort and made my way to the freeway.

There was very little traffic, but the weather continued its erratic behaviour, one minute dashing rain against the windscreen, the next, almost blinding me with the rising sun.

I rounded a bend near Woolgoolga, where the panorama of ocean and coast offers a welcome respite from the monotony of the endless ribbon of tar, and I glanced to the left. The sun etched a silver path across the water, sending diamond sparkles dancing across the inlet, and gleaming on the rooftops of the nearby industrial park.

The world felt newly minted, freshly washed and filled with possibilities.

The road curved away again, and I was about to settle back into monotony when a rainbow appeared just a few metres ahead of me. A complete bow, it straddled the freeway, the end sitting just shy of my offside wheel, then leaping to the other side of the road as I rounded a bend. It was totally captivating, and I laughed aloud with sheer joy as I drove beneath its arc.

For the next twenty minutes or more it remained my constant companion, sometimes almost seeming part of my car, then dancing ahead of me, still to the side, as though keeping pace with me. It was not until I began the descent into Coffs that it bade me farewell, fading from the freeway to reappear high on the mountains behind the Harbour.

Of course, it was an illusion - I understand the science behind it - but for that brief journey as the sun rose and the rain clouds scudded across the sky, it felt like magic. And magic, or perhaps we could call it by its proper name, "wonderment", is a gift I will always cherish.

[altered stock photo]

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