Maya Angelou's Rainbows

Well, Maya Angelou is absolutely brilliant. She made me laugh and smile a lot. I was sharing the evening with my husband and daughter and that made me happy and proud. And my friends from work were there. We have a great work family and we share a wonderful daily-life culture with each other. In spite of collective hot flashes, we manage to have a good time together every day. We were in the third row on the right side of the theatre and there were times when I felt Maya Angelou was looking right into my eyes. She has this huge wonderful beautiful warm smile that welcomes you in to her stories and poems.

There had to be over 1,000 people there and I'm sure, like me, everyone of them felt connected to her. Quickly and it seemed without any effort she created a bond and a connection with all of us. It was as if we were receiving a blessing and I think we were.

She didn't make me cry like I thought she would. She made me laugh and nod my head and smile. Afterwards, when we were leaving the theatre, two of us said at almost the same time, "Can you imagine being her grandchild and getting to listen to her stories and her wisdom and her humor all your life - visiting her every holiday? How incredible would that be?" Just goes to show you that she made us feel like we were her cherished family - grandchildren, brothers, sisters. Her smile is that big. It included us all.

She talked about being a rainbow in someone else's cloud. About being the light that inspires their life even when they can't see past the clouds. How we are all here to be rainbows in one another's clouds. That the world needs our light. That we never know how our light, our brilliant colors, will shine and illuminate the way for others. We are here to shine and share our light with others.

She illuminated her point with stories and poetry and song - even if I could transcribe her talk word for word - I couldn't capture it. But, I hope you've caught a glimpse. She said, "You are important. You are needed. The world needs you. I need you."

I was thinking about writing. About learning to draw. Learning to make art. Loving my family. I was filled with hope for my daughter. Who will she be? Who will she inspire? I hope I can be a strong brilliant shiny rainbow in her life and in the life of her children and her children's children.

I was thinking about the rainbows in my life. My mom. She's a high-beam high-wattage rainbow - a force of nature. The acting teachers who taught me how to stand in the light. The other teachers who taught me how to live off the stage. My friends. God bless, my cool friends!

And the rainbows who aren't on this earth with me anymore. 

My grandmother, Nanny, and her unwavering love and support.

My great aunt, A.J. - her friendship and her spirit - she gave me the desire to learn every day - to never stop learning - never stop being curious about life. And she passed on to me her love of ice cream!

Uncle Larry - when we would visit his house, he would bake cookies or a cake with me. I remember those times when Emma and I are cooking together.

Uncle Skip - who has to go down in history as the best family man I've ever known. His family is the strongest family I've ever known.

Gran and Gramps - Gran with her righteousness and her sharp intelligence and the best cheese enchiladas I've ever eaten, and Gramps - his gentleness, his love of nature and the land and apricot turnovers that were nothing less than a blessing. I remember the fig tree in their back yard in Denton, TX. How the figs were full of the hot Texas sun and he pulled a fig off the tree and gave it to me to eat and how it practically melted with sweetness in my mouth.

I still see all their rainbows in my life every day. Thank you, Maya Angelou, for reminding me who these people are in my life and who I am meant to be in theirs.