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בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֶלוֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם זוֹכֵר הַבְּרִית וְנֶאֱמָן בִּבְרִיתוֹ וְקַיָם בְּמַאֲמָרוֹ
Baruch ata Ado-nai Elo-heinu melech ha’olam zocher ha’brit v’ne’eman
bivrito v’kayam b’ma’amaro.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who remembers
the covenant, and is faithful to His covenant, and keeps His promise.
The blessing helped to enhance our moment of wonder and gratitude for
this beautiful experience. We did not focus much on the words and meaning
of the blessing. For now, we were more interested in marking the moment
with special words.
After reciting the blessing, the children began to ask a myriad of ques-
tions: Why is there a rainbow? Why today? Where is it coming from? Can
we make our own rainbows? Can we touch it? Can it come on me? The
children were also interested in the variety of colors, and some children
thought they could see some sequencing or order to the colors. The experi-
ence was very exciting, but rather than being loud and boisterous, we ini-
tially all stopped and caught our breath in response to all the beauty that
surrounded us. The questions came in hushed voices.
By this time in my career, I had the good fortune to be working at a school
that supported art education and children’s inquiry. I had also spent many
years studying and reading about Reggio Emilia philosophy. In Ohio, where
I was living at the time, I was able to participate in Reggio Emilia study
groups, attend classes at Kent State University, and participate in workshops
on Reggio Emilia philosophy taking place all over the United States.
Looking back at the day the rainbows came to visit, I would say that the
experience emerged from a shared spiritual moment. Back then, even in
a religious school, there was no language for acknowledging this type of
experience as nurturing children’s spiritual development. Yes, the children
and I explored many perspectives of rainbows, and we all grew in our under-
standing of the relationship between light and water. The children explored
color mixing and color comparisons, and one little boy named Eli renamed
some of the crayons in the crayon box. In retrospect, I believe this was Eli’s
way of connecting spirituality to the colors in the rainbow. The children also
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