Ellis' Rainbows 3/5: A Magical Day

In June, a month after Ellis was stillborn, we took him back up to Enchanted Rock. This time, instead of carrying him in my belly, Hunter carried Ellis in a tiny silver urn tucked away in his backpack. I thought about how just three months before we came here for our babymoon, so excited to learn Ellis’ gender that was concealed in an envelope we opened on top of the rock.

We found the same spot where we were before. Hunter and I each wrote letters to Ellis and asked our immediate family members to do so as well. We took turns reading them aloud and then said a prayer. We opened the bag containing Ellis’ ashes and held it together, letting the strong breeze gently and swiftly carry him away. 

Just before the bag was nearly empty the cloud-covered sky transformed—a hole opened up in perfect alignment with the sun, bathing us in its warmth like a spotlight from heaven. This moment was undeniably extraordinary.

Just as his ashes were gone, the clouds closed back up and blanketed the gray sky. I’ve never experienced nature so dramatically aligning with my present narrative.

Later that evening, we drove into Fredricksburg to pick up some dinner. We had to wait about 20 minutes for our order and stopped to get some gas. We parked and waited outside and suddenly noticed a rainbow forming in the partly cloudy sky—it hadn’t even rained that day. We watched as the rainbow slowly grew from one to two—a double rainbow flaunting its full spectrum of color. We could not believe it!

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Were these interventions from God? Was it Ellis’ spirit? His name means “Light of God!” Yet when I ponder these events, they are not miraculous by the definition of the word—clouds open up all day every day and rainbows are easily explained by science—so what made them magical for us?

I’ve since wondered if this is where God works—in the gap between naturally occurring events and our witness to them, where they become transformed into something mystical and inexplicable.

Two incredible moments in one day—one of the most magical days of my life. We experienced intense grief and melancholy, but also joy, wonder, and hope. Perhaps God is in the gap between grief and hope, too.

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