Yesterday was a beautiful and unseasonably warm winter day. Sarah and I stopped by my parents house to deliver a new prescription I had picked up for my father. Sarah chatted with my mom as I went down to their basement to set up my fathers pills for the coming week. A few weeks ago I moved all his pills down to a closet in what used to be my childhood bedroom and is now my mother’s painting studio.
I had grown concerned that he wasn’t taking the right doses with the pills sitting on the side table next to where he sits in the den. His memory isn’t as sharp as it used to be and I had found several occasions where he had taken too many pills so I decided to adopt the out of sight out of mind approach and replace his bottles with a organizer that helps him take the exact dosage at the right time.
Being back in my bedroom looking at my mother’s creativity reminded me of the time in the days after Mt. St. Helens erupted in May of 1980 I spent two weeks at home while school was closed studying books about the solar system. I made drawings and wrote a research paper about the planets. I don’t think I was a typical kid but I never got bored. Since I couldn’t go outside for health reasons, I let the illustrations of Jupiter and Saturn take my mind on an adventure.
I don’t know if it was just being in my old bedroom or whether it was my mother’s creativity in her studio space but I think being down in the basement triggered my imagination as I went to walk up the stairs to bring the medicine organizer back to my father. I had left the light off in the hall and now as I entered the darken corridor I saw this magical pattern of lights shining off the wall. I had to immediately turn around and go back to the bedroom and set down the pills and take my cell phone out of my back pocket and make a few photographs before the light changed.
Minor White is credited for saying we see things for what they are… and what else they are. In this instance I saw a sailboat traveling across g celestial sea of stars and planets. It was magical. The combination of two partial ellipses created the shape of a sailboat and the texture of the paint on the wall added depth and dimension that created the illusions of the gases found in stars and planets as well as the rocks of asteroids.
If I moved closer to the wall to see the details my shadow would make the image disappear. I turned around to see where the light was coming from and realized that it was reflecting off a piece of art my mother has hanging in the guest room.
The little pieces of mirror were reflecting the last of the afternoon sunlight on to the hallway. At that moment I was looking at light that had travelled over 91 million miles and was now reflected back to me in a gift of wonder.
As I think about sailing through the cosmos I am reminded that we are all sailing along in the universe on a journey of 584 million miles around the sun every year at a speed of 67,000 miles per hour. No wonder life feels so fast paced! If I slow down for just a moment I am sure I can feel the movement of the earths rotation. In just a few moments of staring I could see the light move across the room in verification of our constant motion.
Safe journeys everyone!