Friday, June 09, 2017

Friday Ramble - Reflect

Feeling vaguely restless and in need of something or other, I went for a walk along the lake at twilight this week. I didn't know what the something might be, but I hoped I would have the wits to recognize it when I found it.

When I paused on a favorite ribbon of beach near the bridge, the setting sun was painting a trail across the water, and the ripples at my feet offered up a dazzling reflection in return. There were islands and magical archipelagos floating in the seemingly boundless sky as Helios dropped out of sight for another day - a fine sense of cloud drifting adventures too, as if one could simply board a cloud and sail away. Bulrushes and fronds of pickerel weed fringed the lake, every stem swaying and sighing and casting a fey reflection. Loons drifted on the current like little boats, and herons haunted the shallows nearby. The scene was one of joyous untrammeled reciprocity - no reservations, no limitations and no holding back, just exquisite buttery light and deep shadow, inky shapes across the water, the cadence of the waves as they greeted the shore.

The word reflect has been with us since the fourteenth century, coming from the Old French reflecter and the Middle English reflecten, thence the Latin reflectere, all meaning to bend or bend down. Until the fifteenth century, the common usage had to do with diverting things, with turning things aside or deflecting that which is undesirable. Some time around 1600 CE, we began to use the word to describe processes of thought and quiet contemplation. When we use the word in conversation today, we are usually musing about deep thought processes, about light and mirrors - anything and everything except bending.

There were no deep musings by the lake that night, and my thoughts were probably closer to the original meaning of the word reflect than they were to anything else.  Watching the slow fiery blush of the world at sunset, I felt like bending in a deep reverential bow or gassho.   I could manage a bow of sorts that evening, but anything more was out of the question.  So be it.

Nothing I capture with my camera, nothing I sketch or write down here can do justice to such moments. All the fumbling efforts are a soup├žon, a shadow, an echo of the Great Mystery - just reflections and a few bars of what the legendary Celtic warrior Finn called “the music of what happens".  The music is the earth's own wild and sweet music, and it's the finest music in the world.

And the rest of the week with its medical "toings and froings"? Such ordinary happenings run together, and little or nothing of them shines a light in memory, but sundown at the lake will stick around as long as I can draw a breath.

4 comments:

Barbara Rogers said...

What a great memory to carry forward, and now immortalized here on blogger! I've had a few such moments, where I'm drawn to nature, and then somehow can quiet my mind and absorb all there is, then reflect back also perhaps in later shares here.

Mystic Meandering said...

Oooo - yes... all we write/express/create are just "echoes of the Great Mystery." Mirrored reflections of a greater mystery we can only humbly bow to for sure...

christinalfrutiger said...

Beautiful "reflections" to go along with your beautiful photograph! "Buttery Light" is the perfect description of what we see here. Gorgeous!

Guy said...

Hi Cate

A lovely ramble, you describe the scene so vividly.

All the best
Guy