There’s reflections under the facade.
Yesterday afternoon it reached 79 degrees here in Nebraska. The morning hours weren’t as warm, but they were still extremely pleasant. I took my bike out for a short spin and enjoyed time along the edge of Boys Town’s lake. It was 60 degrees at that point, and the previous two days had made it into the mid-70s, but the lake was still mostly covered with a shallow sheet of ice. Along the lake’s edge the ice had already melted and reflections of trees glistened from the calm water.
The transition from winter to spring isn’t as glamorous as poems often make it out to be. Everything is brownish-yellow. There’s fallen branches everywhere. The ground has gone from solid and brittle to squishy and moist. Along the edges of the streets there’s dirty sand and trash from the winter months. Everything feels kind of gross.
Even the ice wasn’t that pretty. There were logs and branches strewn along the edge of the sheet of ice, likely from kids throwing them out onto the lake when it was more frozen. There were long deep cracks in the surface. There were leaves scattered throughout the lake that, due to the warmth of the sun, had caused them to sort of half melt through the ice.
I stopped to rest on a bench for a few moments. The warmth of the sun was rejuvenating. I noticed a plaque next to the bench. It read,
“In loving memory of the Boys Town employees dedicated to changing the lives of the children and families they served.”
And as I read over the four names of people who have lost their lives while working at Boys Town, I thought about how it was Ash Wednesday. These people were once dust, and then they were not just dust, and then they were dust once again. They had one life on this earth, and they chose to spend it serving this community. I only knew two of the people whose names were on that plaque, but I definitely knew it to be true of both of them.
The mostly frozen lake had a tranquil look about it. It was weird to see the lake mostly frozen while the day felt so pleasantly warm. I see metaphor in nearly everything around us, and as I noticed the ice alongside the reflective water it made me think a bit.
I have the goal during lent to be meaningfully reflective. It takes me a while to get there, though. It feels like I have a facade keeping me from being able to reflect in that way. The facade can be any number of things. It could be my own busy schedule keeping me from being fully able to stop and reflect. It could be my own emotional and mental health, focused and consumed on the wrong things keeping me in a place of anxiety. It could be my lack of desire to reflect, simply choosing to binge-watch a show over taking the time to pause and ponder the happenings of my life.
To properly reflect, I either need to let myself take the time to do so and let my facade melt away, or I need to choose to break through that facade intentionally. Or both.
So each day during Lent, this is what I plan on doing. I’m intentionally taking the time to pause and reflect on my life, my day, or the things I notice as I go about both.