“Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away” – Anonymous
One of those moments for me is seeing a double rainbow. Now, I’m not a science teacher, and I would be hard pressed to give an accurate description as to the reasons for this phenomenon. Something about refraction and reflection I think, but what I do know is that no matter what I’m doing, a double rainbow stops me in my tracks. The sense of unpredictability, fragility, and instability hits me, and I can’t take my eyes off it. I’ve given up trying to snap a photo-it never seems to capture the intensity of color or splendor. It is a moment that could be gone in an instant, best savored in ‘real-time’.
A friend of mine passed away last month. He was exactly my age, was a teacher, married, and had two young kids, a boy and a girl-just like me. Also like me, all he had really ever wanted to do and had done for a career is teach junior high. He was a really, really nice guy-one of those people who everyone likes and is just happy all the time. Now, he’s gone. He passed away as the school year was winding down, causing all of us who knew him to stop what we were doing and just grieve.
A few weeks ago his family held a celebration of his life. Hawaiian shirts and baseball gear were the requested attire. Although he didn’t live in Davis, he made an enormous impact on our community, especially noted by the numbers of former students who turned up at the memorial. Teaching is one of those professions that doesn’t always allow us to see the impact we have on our students in the moment. We move from day to day, month to month, and when we hit the 180 day mark our ‘term’ is over. We say goodbye, sign yearbooks, give hugs and best wishes and they leave the classroom. For me, it often seems like our time together was too short and I’ve still got more to teach.
What I’ve learned lately is that moments with people are unpredictable, fragile, and when looked at from the right perspective we can see everything in living color-ROYGBIV. What I’m still learning is that moments and people may be gone in an instant, but the imprint they leave on us is what’s memorable. And like the double rainbow I saw on the way home from the memorial, meant to be savored right now.