I remember a time that I walked around to the other side of our pond and sat on the hot shale and gazed into the water at the organisms below the surface and on the surface and above the surface. Water striders, tadpoles, and an old tire covered with green algae, a duck across the water - all these I spied.

The reflection of a great blue heron on the water and the reflections of the clouds traveled by me; the reflections of the bushes and the reflections of the trees wavered in the wind but stood by me. All of these things I saw on different planes. They looked as though they were further away than the clay, dirt, and algae that made up the bottom of the pond, but at the same time, they seemed to float on the surface of the water. Things were refracted and reflected, confusing my lazy mind.

I noticed a strange rippling on the water - a swirling snake of shaded darkness. It was always moving, always rippling. At first I wasn't sure if it came from below or above the water. There seemed nothing nearby which could cause such a moving shadow.

I sat for some time staring at it before I finally tossed a rock in the water and watched as the snake divided into two. Then it bulged, thrashed, and began wiggling and swirling again. It was a reflection. That much I'd learned from my experiment.

What finally caused me to turn and to look above my head, I'll never know, but when I did so, I saw the phone lines strung up, behind me. With the wind's help, they'd been teasing my brain, producing the wriggling snake.

I wasn't very disappointed. I only felt I'd lost a mystery.

April 2019
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Lisa J. Parker's writing and creative works including poems, books, short stories, essays, movies, greeting graphics, and photographs.


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