as our plane angled across nevada towards las vegas, I looked out the window and saw something unexpected. we were flying low just above a cloud bank, near our final approach, and the window was filled with fluffy white. and there, pacing us, was the perfect shadow of our airplane, spotlighted by a triple full-circle rainbow.

the sun was directly to the right of the aircraft, leaving me (window seat, left side) in just the right position to see the shadow. as we passed different clouds the shadow moved closer or farther away, the halo expanded and contracted, sharper and fuzzier, the colors got softer and then became more vivid. I wondered how many people on the plane noticed it too; I wondered how many humans had ever seen this unusual and beautiful phenomenon.