Sunday, July 23, 2017

Reflections


In this photograph I took last week, you see swirls and swiggles. Circles and islands of blue, white, tan, and brown. As your eyes follow the lines and explore the patterns and hues, your mind begins to relax. The longer I longer I allow myself to linger, the more I see; the more I imagine. Are the browns land formations nesting lakes in their valleys?

Now imagine the lines moving. The whites shimmering. The rounds opening and closing again as reflections in breeze-dappled water.

A couple of days ago, I sat by the harbor in Burlington, watching this undulation in the shallows of Lake Champlain. I focused to exclude all else from my attention and enjoy only this dazzle of movement.

The reflections were from a steel bridge of fixed straight beams, welded at precise angles: A ramp that connected Burlington’s waterfront peninsula to adjacent floating docks.


How delightful that nature was showing me that this human-made thing of angularity could also be seen as circles and curves.

I have been living with a lot of structure in my life lately. I have needed that structure to give me strength to create my own bridge from one place in my life to another. I have been relying on rigidity and strength to carry my tender soul during this time in my life.

There’s a coldness to rigidity and strength requires a girding of the emotions.

For one brief moment in time, as I watched the reflections in the water, I let go a little. I gave myself permission to see my self-discipline not as a necessary evil; not as steel armor, but as something more complex.


I like to tell guests who sail with me that one of the unique gifts that sailing offers us is to see land from a different perspective. And by extension, we get to see life in new reflections.