Mena Kore E heke mai te ua, Ehara te Kopere (Maori Proverb)

6 Feb


Mena Kore E heke mai te ua, Ehara te Kopere

Without Rain There Can Be No Rainbows

Rainbow NFN

Oregon Coast February 2014

Moment: An exact point in time. (Oxford Dictionary)

Rainbow:  A moment created by billions of moments working collectively. 

* * *

It takes billions of raindrops to form a rainbow and the work of each drop lasts only a fraction of second, for while the bow hangs in the sky the drops themselves are falling… a perfect example of collective action in nature.  “Weather” By T. HOKE)

* * *

I’ve always appreciated rainbows but after living in New Zealand, I came to embrace them. I arrived in NZ during springtime mourning the loss of my dog and my brother. Sometimes I’d see the sun come and go dozens of times during a single day as I searched for a teaching job. I lost count of the number of times gray clouds of despair yielded to double rainbows of teary-eyed jubilation. I eventually landed a job in the countryside and met the rainbow pictured below; it ended up gracing the cover of my multimedia book, Without Rain There Can Be No Rainbows.


Ryan Chin Book Cover

“I notice a wall of rain in the eastern sky and the sun striving to find a hole in the clouds…Seizing the moment and catching it just right consumes me in many different ways…I’ve started trying to catch rainbows.

After studying the clouds’ movements, the location of the sun, and the size of the raindrops, I try to position myself in the right place to watch a rainbow materialize. When I hit it just right, the clouds part, a rainbow pastes itself to the center of my vision, and I’m reminded all over again of the brevity of beauty. It’s not quite as exhilarating as tucking myself inside the tube of a wave, but I’ll take it…”

Excerpt from “Without Rain There Can Be No Rainbows.”

* * *

The size and number of rain drops, the angle and intensity of the sun, and your position must be perfect in order to meet a rainbowEven when the rainbow seems close, you can never actually stand under one and see it at the same time because as the diagram below shows, your position matters.

Rainbow FormationDiagram by

* * * 

Mojave Bow Hug

This particular rainbow greeted Lori and I in the Mojave Desert after sleeping in the van.  It is the only one I’ve ever met in the morning hours. We see most rainbows when the sun is low in the Western sky and rain moves East. This one formed with the rising sun in combination with a very narrow band of rain creeping over the mountain range.

Enjoy the billions of moments taking place when you meet a rainbow.

Then go and create your own moments…

* * * 

My house is often at the end of the rainbow. March and April make for perfect conditions with the sun’s position and fast moving spring storms. 


Rainbow House 4:18:2011

Rainbow House 4:25:2011OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

* * * 

Rainbow NZjpg   Ryan Chin is the creator of, Without Rain There Can Be No Rainbows, a multimedia memoir about his teaching experience in New Zealand. Mr. Chin likes to call it a pet and teacher memoir sandwiched into an overseas adventure. The book is available at Amazon and locally at Powell’s Books. When he’s not chasing rainbows, he can be found wrestling with his boys (furry and non-furry). 


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