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A Reflection so perfect, it fools us

Is it an optical illusion?
Reflecting Place

I look at the branch as it curls upward, or does it curl downward? Wait, that is its reflection. The bent and twisted branch arches and bends, its sprouts excursioning just a bit and one just like it follows suit, its mirror image. Still water does this. It makes a fool of you. Were I not so clever, I might reach for the wrong branch.

Were I not so clever.

But that branch below, so very near the surface, must see its fellow above. Unless there are ripples or wind or waves, unless the bright sun blinds it or silt buries it, that lake-locked branch must think it’s the real branch. In the stillness it might wonder at that impostor who dares to look down and mock him. Surely, he, there under the water is the real branch. Weighty, yes, damp, yes, sometimes dark and lonely and tumultuous. Real must fend for his life while that sunny, dim and oddly dimensional branch goes missing every time.

On this still day, in these still waters, when the sun is low on the horizon, does that watery branch wonder at his fickle image above? If I came up out of the water, arose and shook off the weight that presses me down, what might I be? Is life as I know it not all of life? Is there more above the surface? Is that other branch real? Could it be even more real than I am?

Perhaps heaven is like that. We think the murk and mud and tumult we are under is real but we get a glimpse – in the stillest moments – of something that mirrors our existence. Maybe, if we were just pulled from under the water, lifted above the abyss, we would see that it is real. Brighter, broader, fuller in dimension and grander in color, it would be the glorious real we thought we were all along.

We are but a dim reflection, indistinguishable by the naked eye. It is such a human mistake to be taken in by such an optical illusion. Only in perfect stillness, at rising and setting of sun, do we glimpse real. Fully real.

Funny things happen when you sit in stillness and look from the lake shore. Which branch am I?

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