I have a lot to be thankful for, and I could make a long list of these things. People would be top on that list. I could name so many people who have made my life what it is. I’m thankful to everyone on that list.
But this year’s Thanksgiving was not only about being thankful for what we have. It was also a day that brought me and my kids a specific experience that I’m very thankful for.
Thursday was a beautiful sunny day in Duluth, as this picture taken on our afternoon hike can attest to.
We got back from the hike about 2:00, and the turkey was still roasting in the oven, and the weather was beautiful, so I decided to take the girls ice-fishing on Rice Lake. I knew it would mean having a very active afternoon, but I really wanted to get the girls out on the ice. I had already been out on Rice Lake the day before, and I knew it was iced over real well.
As we drove to the lake, clouds suddenly rolled in. I didn’t mind, because I was mainly interested in the fishing, which can be even better in overcast weather. But as daylight was winding down on the ice, suddenly the sun came roaring back from under the clouds on the horizon. And the next fifteen minutes was something I’ll never forget. It’s best described in photos.
We got out to our spot, and started fishing (we caught no fish in the hour we were on the ice). The sun was starting to poke out more from under the clouds.
The girls fished a while, and that went on to their usual play. They were having fun, and meanwhile the sunset was starting to get interesting.
The light suddenly broke through really strong under the the clouds as the sun sank even lower. The sudden change in light was striking. This photo does it some justice.
Then the sun started to go wild. The whole sky was turning orange.
The sky took on an incredible glow. It was alive. I don’t what other words to use. It was just otherworldly.
The clouds just got brighter and brighter as the sun disappeared beyond the horizon. I know that’s what happens when the sun sets, but this time it was extraordinary.
Then, as I was admiring Adriana playing in the incredible color, I turned around to check on Vanessa. Low and behold there was a rainbow taking shape right behind her!
There were four distinctive colors to be seen, particularly the pinkish red color. It got brighter and intensified in the following minutes. It was 180 degrees across the sky from the sunset.
Meanwhile, to the south-west, the sun was just blazing. It was a very powerful experience, as we could now observe a sunset and a rainbow going on at the same time, over a frozen lake. I just kept turning back and forth, taking new photos every 10 seconds.
The girls kept playing throughout, and they definitely added to the power of the experience with their play. But eventually even they needed to stop and just look in awe.
The girls got back to their play, and suddenly we spotted the other tip of the rainbow. It was further west, maybe 120 degrees from the sunset. It was fading now as the sun sank completely behind the horizon.
The word “rainbow” might be totally incorrect to describe what we saw. I don’t know. According to a Russian friend of mine, the optical phenomenon we saw was a halo, a rainbow circle around the sun, common in high latitude regions in winter. I am inclined to believe him, since I have no other way to explain how we could see two tips of a rainbow on a perfectly dry day in November at sunset. I don’t recall ever seeing anything like it before. It was remarkable. What we witnessed was a miracle that multiplied the power of Thanksgiving for me.