Thursday, 30 April 2020

Rainbows - a symbol of hope during lockdown

From a scientific perspective, the rainbow is the product of light hitting water droplets at just the right angle, of refraction and reflection.  Their full beauty, their entire form (a full circle) can only be admired by flyers as the horizon obstructs our view on the ground.  These facts do not detract from their beauty and each time we see a rainbow, whether young or old, we are reminded of the beauty of nature as we often stop and announce to anyone who will listen that we can see a rainbow in the sky.  

Handpainted card - designed and created by Carol Sykes from You Can Folk It

Despite our knowledge of rainbow formation, regardless of the logic, since the beginning of time, there has been magic in rainbows.  They are seen as a symbol of hope, of better times after a storm and encouragement to endure through the dark times we may face.

There have been many myths and stories written about the rainbow and told through the generations. For some Aboriginal communities, the rainbow is often thought of and depicted as a serpent arriving to halt the rain sent by their enemies.  In Norse mythology, the rainbow (B├»frost - rainbow bridge) appeared to connect Earth with the Gods and allows them to travel to Earth.   For Native American cultures, the rainbow is a sign that we are all one big family and that one day, Warriors of the Rainbow will show the way to heal the Earth and bring people together once again.

Handprinted wooden plaque - "There is always something to be thankful for"

Whatever myth, story or idea is attached to it, for many cultures, it symbolises new beginnings, of transition and unity.  In these uncertain times of lockdown, the rainbow has lifted the spirits of so many.  From showing our support for the NHS and other key workers to bringing a smile to the faces of children (and adults) as they search for rainbows in windows during their daily exercise, it has become a daily sign of better things to come.

Vintage rose heart - folk art painting from You Can Folk It lift our spirits throughout May, as we look forward to a time after lockdown, our #funwithfolkit painting challenge is revisiting the rainbow theme.  After April's Monochrome challenge, we certainly welcome a splash of colour.  The more shades of the rainbow we use, the better! We'd love for you to join us, just use the hashtag #funwithfolkit in your rainbow creations.

Stay home, stay safe, stay creative xx


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