Monday, March 19, 2007

Shadowgraphs and Reflections

I took a walk this morning sans dogs. I just wanted to be alone, to think, to contemplate, and to take some photos while our last snow was still with us. My mood this past week has been all over the place; happy one minute, kind of depressed the next. I’m certain it’s partly hormones, partly the fact that our house is still not sold back in Colorado, and partly late-winter-nearly-spring-blues. I don’t know exactly, but whatever it is I’ve been in kind of a funk.

My walk took me through the now familiar path in the woods down to the pond. As I walked along on top of the crusted snow, I couldn’t help but notice that something had been walking here besides me. They looked like duck prints. That’s odd. What would they be doing walking down the forest path? I was a little mystified.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

I also couldn’t help noticing the shadows that the morning’s strong sun was casting. The trees and shrubs were using the snow as their mirror. Traceries of stems and tiny branches looked like veins and arteries under a “skin” of snow.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Some of them looked exactly like mirror images [or in this case shadow images] of themselves. Others looked a little warped, slightly skewed, or just plain refracted.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

It started me thinking about how people were much like the trees and their shadows. That other people might see only the reflection [or shadow] that we each cast, and it might not be the true or whole person at all. Who we think we are is not necessarily what other people see; a slightly skewed image of our true self. Only part of the whole.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Do other people see me as I see myself? Not likely. Perhaps we all reflect—or cast—an image of ourselves as we think people should perceive us. Food for thought anyway as I trudged along with my odd mood.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

We all have warts and imperfections, but we rarely allow other people to see them. Keeping them hidden rather than wearing them for all the world to see.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Finally at the pond, I was rewarded for my efforts by a beautiful pair of swans. I’ve not seen swans here before. They graciously allowed me to take a few photos of them. Like the trees, they too were using one of winter’s foils for showing off their reflections; the icy mirror of the pond.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

But try as I might to ignore it, they also seemed to be trying to say something. Do we sometimes give out the wrong signals along with our perceived self-reflection? Seemingly aloof and detached when we really aren’t?

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Now the prints in the snow that I had seen earlier made sense.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

The seasons seem all mixed up. It’s almost like autumn did not want to give way and held on throughout the winter.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

I enjoyed my walk and am very glad I went when I did. On the way back the snow had softened just enough that with every other step I took, my foot plunged through the three or four inch top crust. It was like being on a StairMaster that I couldn’t get off of. At least I got a workout.

Just after I got home the wind picked up and brought sulky, brooding, grey clouds along in its wake. Rain, or perhaps more snow on the way for tonight, washing the slate clean for tomorrow.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll feel more in focus.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey


Welcome, I'm Lynne. You know me better as a 'new' Jersey Girl. But now I've moved once again, this time to North Carolina. Here I write about my thoughts, good food, and of course, dogs.

© 2006-2022 Lynne Robinson All photography and text on this blog is copyright. For use or reproduction please ask me first.

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