Sue Spitulnik

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts



A Rainbow’s Meaning

There are people that see rainbows as an artistic masterpiece in the sky, to others it is a sign of hope and to many a sign of promise.
It can be all three; beauty, hope and promise.    (Jill Magnus)

A rainbow is actually nothing more than a phenomenon of nature created when a spectrum of light in the form of a multicolored arc, appears in the sky, caused by both reflection and refraction of light in water droplets. Rainbows always appear directly opposite of the sun.  The light is refracted (bent) when it enters a droplet of water, then is reflected inside on the back of the droplet and refracted again when leaving it, thus a masterpiece of color is seen in the sky. Or, you can create one with a prism wherever you would like to, if you have a prism handy.

A rainbow is mentioned six times in the King James version of the Bible, in some places as a sign of hope, and other places as a seal on a promise from God that a flood will not destroy mankind. It is also used in the Torah to mean the same thing. So a person may think of a rainbow as a religious symbol.

The fantasy that there are no troubles on the other side of the rainbow comes from the songwriter, Cole Porter. In the Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland sings the lyrics he wrote that has told us that “truth” since 1939. That song is still being sung in Jazz clubs, school auditoriums and over the airwaves all these years later, and we still believe every word.

The rainbow is now being used as an identifying symbol by the gay community and that’s all right with me too, if my opinion matters.

Personally I use the rainbow color card when I am quilting, to understand the relationship of colors. It’s a valuable tool that I consider a friend. Since I have learned to use it, the colors in my quilts are more vibrant and at the same time more pleasing to the eye.

I’m not sure how easy it would be to go find a rainbow at will, but the peaceful feeling I associate with it can be something I hold close, live by, and demonstrate every day toward other humans just because I want to. I challenge you to do the same.




It’s National Umbrella Day. When I first see the name of a day, sometimes immediate thoughts come to mind. Other times, I get a cup of coffee and think about things, then I read what the National Day of Calendar web-site tells me and I start seeing images to write about. It’s a process.

The calendar reminded me of wonderful movies in which an umbrella played a major part; “Singing in the Rain” and “Mary Poppins”. If you start picturing the use of a parasol for sunny days, I know the list would grow quickly. “Gone With the Wind” and “Downton Abbey” were the first two I thought of.

I lived in the Seattle-Tacoma area for fourteen years. And no, it doesn’t rain all the time. Often times, it’s just a light mist. We always used to say you could tell a local, because they wouldn’t carry or use an umbrella. I now live in Rochester, NY and we have more cloudy days than Seattle does. I’m not sure about the actual rainfall; if it compares or not. I have an umbrella in my car, but it rarely gets unfurled.

Let’s not leave out how film makers and photographers use umbrellas. I just learned they have a reflective under coating that diffuses the light in order to get a better picture. Interesting. I thought the curve of the umbrella did the job.

Whether you use an umbrella to ward off rain or shine, today is the day to thank the middle-eastern countries for inventing them over 4000 years ago and China for waterproofing them.

Now let’s bring it back home, what would we do without the umbrella on our patio table?


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