“If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain. “
- Dolly Parton
State of Hawaii is sometimes called “Rainbow State” and rainbow can be seen quite often anywhere in Hawaii. Especially when it is now rainy season, rainbow appears almost everyday here and there. Interestingly, no matter how many times I’ve seen rainbow, it always impresses and makes me try to photograph the rainbow. I think many people feel the same way. Rainbow has a special power to attract people maybe because beauty of the rainbow is so fragile and momentary.
I have taken many photos of rainbow for many years and I found two important facts about the rainbow from my experiences.
One fact is that “you will surely get wet when you’ve seen a clear rainbow. The clearer it becomes, the harder rain will hit you.” Therefore you cannot take a good photo of the rainbow without getting wet.
I’ve been to “Ke Ahu a Laka” which is one of the most sacred Hawaiian Heiau temples on Kauai with Kumu Leina’ala and her students including many dancers from Japan. The weather was good in the beginning when we got there, but as Kumu started chanting, it started raining. It was more like sprinkling but we were very lucky to see the rainbow over the Na Pali coast in the western sky.
Then as soon as I noticed the color of rainbow got clearer and darker, sprinkle rain changed into heavy rain to make everybody be wet to the skin. However Kumu Leina'ala never stopped her powerful chanting and dancers continued inspirational dancing. The sacred site, beautiful hula, amazing chanting and rainbow got together as one and I felt this was a miracle moment that cannot be happened again….
I completely forgot worrying about my camera getting drenched and I just kept taking photos of this miracle moments. I had never gotten my camera so wet in my life but it was definitely worth doing it. After checking what I got, I was truly relieved to know my camera was ok. Rather it did a great job in the heavy rain.
I can recall what Kumu Leina’ala told us before going to the heiau. They were forming a circle and Oli or ancient poem for entering the sacred site was led by Kumu. Then she told us to get ready for our senses open. Look at carefully what’s in front of us, listen to the sound of wind, to smell the nature….Everything you’ll see, hear or feel is a gift from Laka. In fact, this became so meaningful because of the sudden appearance of rainbow and incredible sunshine after the rainbow. This happened in June 2014 and this was the best rainbow I've ever encountered.
Another fact on rainbow is very interesting but I'm not so ready to complete writing it. Maybe I will continue to write it after Christmas. Everyone, please be safe and Merry Christmas!