12 December 2014

Puddles look back at you, did you know?

Muddy days are slosh-days.  Sloshing around barefoot. Cool. Refreshing.  Muddy days are also puddle days.  If it rains enough to make mud there’s bound to be places where water has gathered.  Puddles come in all sizes.  Shapes depend on the terrain.  Most importantly, puddles are about water.  And once the rain ceases puddles become mirrors.

Sure, you can still slosh around.  You can stop and take a peek too.  Puddles may seem insignificant.  They are here now and gone the next day.  A few hours of steady sunlight and the water levels drop.  They may look invitingly muddy for a little while and then, if the sun is really hot, will turn into wicked pieces of earth with jagged edges that can hurt or cut your feet. 

But before all that happens, as we mentioned, puddles are mirrors.  They may seem insignificant but they can actually turn the world upside down.  The world is beautiful as it is, we all know this.  But this is a different kind of beauty.  It’s a beauty we rarely see for the simple reason that we don’t often stand on our heads.  Sure, if we spread ourselves on the grass and looked up, things would be ‘upside down’, but we are so conditioned to see things ‘the right way up’ that we don’t really ‘see’ treetops rising out of the sky and trunks sprouting up from leafy branches.

It is different when you see all this in a pool of water.  All you have to do is to think that the earth has become blue and that this blue-earth has sods of sky (that’s clouds) which move around.  It is lovely when the blue and green (with patches of dark brown and black) exchange places in our minds. 

It takes us to a different universe.  It makes us wonder (if only for a few moments) whether we stand on our feet or if we are dangling from the earth (imagine your hair fixed to the ground and your feet moving around free).  And it makes us want to flip other things around. 

A three year ago girl greeted her father who had come home after being away for a couple of days.  The father, who adored the little one, like all fathers adore their children, went down on his knees so his eyes were level with hers.  He hugged his precious little darling and moved back to admire her beauty and of course to see if she had grown taller in the two days he hadn’t seen her (that’s another things that young fathers of little girls and boys do). 

The child was smiling.  Her eyes were shining.  Then a questioning look swept across her face.  She looked deep into her father’s eyes.  She said, ‘Appachchi, I can see me in your eyes…can you see yourself in my eyes?’ 

‘Yes, of course!’ he said and then he told himself all the other things he could see in his daughter’s eyes.  The places he wanted her to see, the wonders he hoped she would encounter, the joys he was convinced she would one day experience, friendships and laughter, stories and fascinating characters, and all kinds of things and feelings that were truly amazing. 

Puddles are like that.  We can see upside down trees.  We can see skies that are flat and steady. Like the ground we walk on.  We can also see shapes and colors in places and ways we didn’t think were possible.  We can see ourselves and it’s not the same as looked at what the mirror reflects when we stand before it.  We don’t always place a mirror on the ground and look at it, do we?  If we did, we will find that we look quite different.  In the very least we will see ceilings and skies, the canopies of trees and the sunshades of buildings instead of walls as the ‘backdrops’ against which we stand. 

But most importantly, we can start seeing pools or puddles in other things.  Like the eyes of people we know.  We can see ourselves in their eyes and convince ourselves that they see themselves in our eyes.  For example.  We can tell ourselves that things have ‘undersides’ which are as interesting.  We can tell ourselves that not only things, but ideas, thoughts, feelings and other things we can’t touch can also have a flip-side.  We can spend hours wondering what those undersides look like, feel like.  And who knows, maybe we can even discover the textures, colors and fragrances of those flip-sides we don’t usually see. 

Puddles are wonderful, aren’t they?  Check them out.  They will probably look back at you and tell you stories that you’ve never heard, play music unlike anything you’ve heard.  And the world will look even more beautiful than you thought it was. 

This is the eleventh article in a series I am writing for the JEANS section of 'The Nation'.  The series is for children. Adults consider yourselves warned...you might re-discover a child within you! 

Other articles in this series


Anonymous said...

Yes, they are amazing. You waked up my memories . When I was 7 years , I had lots of imaginations ,having fish, having water lilies in it. It was there at dawn but not there at the dust. All my dreams scattered. I am just thinking how tears came to me.
Very beautiful article ,Thanks Malinda.