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  • Leslie Mathews


Updated: Oct 8, 2019

Thank you Pall for this picture of me taking in the beauty of the Highlands of Iceland!

A conversation with a great friend has helped me process something that happened on my recent photography trip to Iceland and Norway. I knew it was special as it was happening, but I couldn’t exactly put it into words or figure out how to express it and apply it to everyday life. I think it is worth sharing.

In both Iceland and Norway, the weather was constantly changing. Sunny skies could quickly turn cloudy, and suddenly produce rain, snow or sleet. As a photographer the constant change in weather can be both frustrating and exciting. Most often we saw it in a positive light and appreciated that our landscapes were constantly evolving, creating opportunities to create a new image while standing in the same place.

Just as easily as drenching rain came, so did an opening in the clouds with bursts of sunlight. Oftentimes as the rain fell in one direction, the sun broke through in the other.

One day early in my journey, rain started to interfere with a beautiful landscape of bright green moss in the Highlands of Iceland. I was surprised when I turned to find a beautiful rainbow as I was running for our dry vehicle. Rather than get in the warm truck, I dropped my bag, put on my polarizing filter and prayed I would have time to capture the rainbow before it disappeared. I forgot about being cold and getting wet. That rainbow had me smiling all day.

A rainbow surprise somewhere in the highlands of Iceland.

Mid-way through the trip (now in Norway), we stopped to take photos along the side of the road. The landscape was spectacular. Everyone was wrapping up, but I wanted to capture a cute little church across the water. Suddenly a heavy misty moved in. I started to put my camera away and prepared to run to the van, but when I looked up I saw that a rainbow was starting to take shape near the church.

I was thrilled to get shots of another beautiful rainbow. It was only a half rainbow. Someone commented that it was a shame it didn’t end at the church. It wasn’t perfect, but it still gave me a feeling of joy and excitement. I forgot about the sudden chill in the air and rain that cut things short.

An imperfect rainbow spotted in the Lofoten Islands with @lightstalker_adventures!

I still wasn’t looking for the rainbows, even though we were seeing them regularly at this point. They brought me so much joy, and yet I wasn’t seeking them out.

Our last morning in the Lofoten Islands was bright and sunny. As I walked to the van I felt the rain start. This time I immediately turned around to look for it. The full beautiful rainbow was there, and it was the most brilliant I had ever seen. I ran back inside to get my camera and filter without worrying about getting wet or capturing the perfect rainbow. That was my favorite day in the Lofoten Islands. I let that rainbow bring me happiness all day long. I still get a smile thinking about it.

A final rainbow on our last day in the Lofoten Islands.

My friend told me this morning that rather than saying “how was your day," she asks her kids to tell her about the rain and the rainbow in their day. They are learning to look for the good things in their day (no matter how small) and talk about the challenges. She is SO WISE!!!

I know that vacation and travel can be full of rainbows. The real challenge is finding them in everyday life. Some days we just want to talk about the rain, and that is okay too. Sometimes it rains all day and the sun never comes out. Sometimes rainbows are small, broken or dull. Every rainbow is not perfect, but it might just be enough to turn around what started as a rainy day (or week).

I hope your week was full of big, bold and perfect rainbows created by tiny little rain showers!!! However, if your week was plagued with huge downpours like mine, let me know how you found your happy place!

Always in search of happiness inspiration!

Thank you for always inspiring great things in the people around you Jen!

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