Saratoga, Rainbow Horses and the Portal to Heaven.

Marion E. Altieri and Bella AttriceI wish I could tell you exactly when this event happened…but I can’t.

Or that I had a photo to post here, so that you could see what I saw…but I don’t.

That’s the whole point of this piece, that there was a day–a few years ago–at Saratoga Race Course when I experienced something that I never expected.  That no one could have expected, because I’m absolutely certain that it never has happened in the History of the World, and never will again.

No, really.  A cosmic convergence of Heaven and Earth, and only about 25 of us witnessed it.

I wasn’t prepared–none of us were–because, well, that’s the nature of The Unexpected.

We chosen few experienced something beyond empirical explanation, an experience which lives usually only in God’s Domain–that place where there are more than three dimensions, where angels have eight eyes and Infinity is as real as your hand.

And yet, heavenly moment that it was, it taught me a very solid lesson that I’ll never forget.  Be alert. Be prepared. For the surreal–or perhape, the super-real, may enter your Life at any moment.

And no where on Earth does God reach down, breaking away from His throne in Other, to enter the dreary lives of we mere mortals, more often–than in Saratoga.

Allow me to explain, if I can.  Mere words may have no power, but I’ll try.

In, oh, about 2005 or 2006, I was hanging out in the backstretch at Saratoga.  Another beautiful day at the track: occasional rain, nickering horses, outriders in red.  Ancient, enormous, lush, sheltering trees.  Paradise, punctuated by the occasional burst of Telemundo on the snack bar TVs, in-between races.

Like many Saratoga days, it had rained a bit.  Then it rained somewhat-hard, but almost immediately, a gigantic rainbow appeared.  But instead of being Over There–rainbows usually present their shy selves far from the reach of humans–this rainbow chose to grace us with her immediate presence.

(I suspect that most rainbows stay far from humans because too many humans see something beautiful–and they feel the need to own it, to remove it from its happy, Natural Home.  To capture it–put it into a bottle and keep it forever.)

But not this rainbow!  She was huge, and immediate.   So close we could almost touch her–if, of course, she were composed of solid materials.

Then, in a single moment, we witnesses saw her, unfolding, unfolding–looking for a place to land.

She chose to land ON the track.  At about the 5F start, the rainbow set down her beautiful colors, straight from rail-to-rail.  From inside-rail to outside-rail, she just sat there:  Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.

She was stunning.  Many of us gasped, but that was only the first of several gasps, for you see…

Just as the rainbow chose her place to rest her lovely party dress, the gate snapped open at the 7F start.  Seven horses, pounding, pounding, breathing, headlong full-out, toward the heavenly lady.

For those of us–about 25 or so–who stood at the rail, it was a moment frozen in time.  The rainbow stayed there.  Seven horses, all sinew and muscle, used every ounce in their bodies and souls to get to her first.

We gasped again, as several voices expressed the same thought:

“Are they?  ARE they?  ARE THEY????”

They did.  Those seven horses ran into the rainbow, and as they burst through her gossamer veil, they turned Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.  Rainbow Horses.  The most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen–that any of us Ever.Had.Seen.

Frantically, I’d tried to get my crappy RAZR phone up to my eye, to capture this moment (poorly) for Eternity.  No such luck, for this experience was not to be contained in a tiny, metal box.  No professional photographers were there–only God’s Original Cameras, that is, eyes,  took in that magical, spiritual, otherworldly Moment.

I was surprised, actually, when the horses ran out of the rainbow–I actully expected that they would stay inside her, and turn into vapor with her.  Travelers in a divine ship.  A ship that scientists would tell us was composed of hydrogen, oxygen, refracted rays of light.  Priests and yogis would counter that description with words like, God. Chakra.  Spirit.

So, yes, much to my surprise, the Rainbow Horses ran through the rainbow, and onto the turn for home.  The rainbow, having lovingly processed her charges, disappeared by the time they got to the home stretch.

No unicorn, no Pegasus, no other mythological equine ever was adorned in such array.  No horse, ever–I am convinced–has passed from Earth to Heaven, then back to Earth again.

This moment is burned into my memory forever.  I won’t see anything like that until I’m in Heaven, where the horses all run through rainbows.

We humans, we few blessed souls, who saw that, shared something Beyond.  I cannot say that we all were predisposed to think of God in that moment.  We were a diverse crowd, a microcosm of humanity, itself.  Children, hardened old racetrackers, naifs and knaves all were equally-and-without-bias given an opportunity to experience pure light, pure beauty–a glimpse of Heaven, itself.

I learned a strange Truth that day:  the fact that something never has happened before–doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t happen, at all.  And that one should always keep one eye open, because yes, miracles are all around us.

So go–go to Saratoga for the races.  Or Arlington, Del Mar, Monmouth.  Take your children.  Watch the races, and bet lavishly.  But do yourself a favor–a favor that very-well may have eternal benefits:  look up from the Racing Form.  Put down the things that confine you to this earthly plane,  like food, drink and betting tickets.

Open your eyes to what is around you–to what may develop–to What Can Be.

If you go to the races and drink, gamble and people-watch–you’re closing yourself off to all that the races have to offer.  Horses are God’s preferred method of travel:  24 other people and I  know.  We saw it with our own eyes, and felt it with our own souls.

What a pity, if God rides by on His multidimensional, Indigo Steed, and you’re too busy because you’re buried in a paper-full of two-dimensional statistics.  If you look only for what you expect, you will continue to be confined to three dimensions and to the color, beige.  But if you open yourself to the New, to the Numinous, eventually–you’ll see more than your weary, human heart can dream, or  imagine.