Irisation: A Lesson

Photography © 2015 by Farnaz Mojab Soheili

Photography © 2015 by Farnaz Mojab Soheili

A Lesson

For just one moment
the sky stopped time,
and we gazed upward
to where an angel
lit the clouds
like a row of pure white candles,
and the flames flickered
in many hues
and spoke to us in sweet silence,
reminding us that life is brief,
a momentary blur.

A lesson we forgot.

hands of time

Note: My thanks go to my friend, Farnaz Mojab Soheili, for allowing me to use her wonderful photograph of this magnificent cloud rainbow that appeared for just a moment. As a teacher who was with a group of fourth grade students on the playground, the cloud phenomenon was pointed out to her by a student. She looked up in time to see it shift into this beautiful formation. A rainbow in the clouds is called iridescence or irisation:  “When parts of clouds are thin and have similar size droplets, diffraction can make them shine with colours like a corona. In fact, the colours are essentially corona fragments. The effect is called cloud iridescence or irisation, terms derived from Iris the Greek personification of the rainbow…. Iridescence is seen mostly when part of a cloud is forming because then all the droplets have a similar history and consequently have a similar size.”

[http://www.atoptics.co.uk/droplets/irid1.htm]

Irises