Rainbow Basking

by | Nov 23, 2022 | Blog

Prisms dangle in at least eight windows of my home, welcoming rainbows as the sun makes its daily journey across the sky. One mid-morning, my five-year-old godson caught a rainbow on his forehead. His seven-year-old sister noticed, and gently held him there a moment longer, enjoying the color dancing on his alabaster skin. Now we do it all the time. We love this practice! We call it rainbow basking.

Rainbow basking took on new meaning for me today, as I sat in my sunlit study saying the names of Daniel, Derrick, Kelly, Ashley, and Raymond, the most recent victims of mass shooting in our nation-gone-mad.

One day last week, I walked a beautiful college campus with a chaplain friend who identifies as queer. She showed me the spacious arch-ceilinged chapel, where the sun slanting through the contemporary stained-glass windows at noon bathes the center aisle in every color of the rainbow.

“You should bask here,” I said, telling her about my godchildren and the practice we discovered together. “You should bask here while you’re pregnant!” I said a little louder, gaining energy as an idea bloomed. Both of us laughed with delight at the thought of her growing belly awash with every color of the rainbow, while she lifts a prayer for this wee one emerging.

In the midst of this week – its grief and its delight – a practice took shape for me. I offer it in hopes that it brings some solace, a bit of stitching back together this world torn asunder by random violence. Do it alone, or better yet, invite a friend to do it with you.

Find a rainbow – in a college chapel, a local church, a sanctuary repurposed as a pub, or create a rainbow of your own with a prism and free sunlight.
Situate yourself within the rainbow.
Let the rainbow dance on one part of your body.
If you’re lucky, maybe you can spread out in a rainbow large enough to engulf your whole body.
Take seven deep breaths, eyes closed or open, one for each day of creation.
Take five deep breaths, one for each young life we lost to the world this week.
Feel the power of the rainbow dancing on you.
Give thanks for your body, just as it is or as it is becoming.
Give thanks for your sensuality, how you delight in touch, smell, taste, sound.
Imagine the rainbow affirming and blessing you.
Lift up in your imagination loved ones or friends who struggle to find safety, affirmation, or self- acceptance because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
Imagine the rainbow affirming and blessing them.
Lift up those who have died because of gender oppression.
Lift up those who struggle from depression or anxiety because of gender oppression.
Welcome any feelings that arise, knowing they will ebb and flow.
If you are alone, hug yourself.
If you are not alone, hug yourself, and offer a hug to someone else.
Bask in this rainbow as long as you wish.
When you are ready, go on with your day.

If you are hurting, find a safe person to reach out to.

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