Rainbow After the Flood

In May of 2006, the Merrimack Valley Region of Massachusetts got almost 16 inches of rain over a period of eight days. The Merrimack and Concord Rivers, which run through the city of Lowell, both rose well above flood stage and much of the city had to be evacuated.

Everything was under water at ground level: cars, roads and people. Homes were destroyed, people were displaced and water eroded the streets. People were carrying their belongings in shopping carts. Emotions ran high as many realized they had lost what could not be replaced: wedding albums, family photos, things held dear.

Rainbow After the Flood, 2006 | Digital image

Lowell is an old mill city, and fortunately I live on the third floor of one of these old renovated brick mills. I stayed in and watched from my window, praying for everyone's safety and calm to settle over the city once the rain decreased. Finally I heard the birds singing. The sun came out and a rainbow appeared outside my window. This rainbow felt like the Rainbow Goddess looking over the city. The rainbow of ethnicities which comprise Lowell was offering its prayer of beauty and urging people to come back to Lowell.

I took a picture. It wasn't until I pieced four images together that she became a goddess. I needed four to represent the four directions of my Native learning.

In mythology, Iris, the personification of the rainbow, represented a brief union of earth and sky. She was the goddess who delivered messages between the heavens and earth.

This rainbow was a message of hope for the wetlands...the flood was done.



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