When I looked back through the pictures taken on my Naperville Riverwalk artist date, I noticed a theme of reflection throughout. Reflection both in water and in the symmetry of spaces where one side mirrors the other so closely: I found myself mesmerized by these examples of the beauty which can be found in reflection.
"Reflection" is a word I tend to overuse, one of those words that seems to lose a little bit of its meaning each time I speak or write it. But this very waning of its significance occurs precisely because "reflection" is a word I love, a state I love, a practice which I commit to often in my daily life. Reflection partners with intention, contemplation, and decision, just to name a few, as I set out to live my life with meaning and purpose, in truth and love. And it seems like there is always opportunity to reflect even more, room for so much more growth, self-knowledge, and self-awareness.
As an extroverted thinker, my path to reflection comes most often in writing. My writing reflects back to me more clearly the state of my heart, soul, and mind, and sometimes the states of those around me. In my writing, the reflective effects are often reversed, as my reflection can be wiser, clearer, than the original thoughts. My blurry, rippling thoughts come into clearer, sharper focus as the words begin to cover the page. Perhaps this commitment to internal reflection, this path of growth I am following, is what attracted me to these beautiful reflections in nature that lovely morning.
Today, I summon those moments through these pictures I took. I captured them in hopes of holding onto them longer than the fleeting hours of that early Fall morning. And I stare into these moments now, looking long and hard to see what will be reflected back to me.
I come to these reflections with a heavy heart, feeling numb and dull at the news of the loss of a young, lovely life. I am reminded of how fleeting this life is, how quickly all can change and begin to be something entirely different. My pursuit of reflection grows even stronger with this increased awareness of the gift of life. Time is not a guarantee- we have to make it count.
I will ponder again the true meaning of reflection, and I will try to hear it new, to erase the monotony of daily use and dig down deep to its core. I will examine my practice of reflection under a new and urgent light. I will write and write some more until all of the blurry, scarred images begin to take clear and beautiful shape and point me along my way, for all of the way I have yet to go before me.
In memory of Sarah Joann Alleman.