Friday, April 22, 2011

Seeing Things

When I was a little girl I used to see the extraordinary in the ordinary. For example, I'd visit the little "door" on the baseboard heaters to pick up my little mouse friend. My mother who was afraid of mice, a fear I inherited myself as an adult, did not like this particular imaginary game of mine very much at all. But I would put out my hand, have the little friend hop on my palm, and I'd return him to the baseboard heater door after a while. To this day I still spy the little "doors" and when I go to clean the metal, I think of that imaginary mouse.

My brother, being 10 years older than I, was often irritated by his kid sister's imaginary games. I remember ducking down in the backseat of the car at night to hide from the "monsters" I could see within the "faces" of the cars or trucks following us on the road. "Mom. Make her stop!" he'd plead. I undoubtedly would annoy him with my backseat horror film re-enactments. "Let her be. She's playing", my Mom would reply. I could so easily see things that were not there, even an imaginary friend of mine named "Bernadette" would appear to keep me company. It's safe to say that I had a very rich childhood with such a vivid imagination.

But even in my adult life I sometimes see things that perhaps another might not readily visualize. Beyond finding shapes in the clouds above, I never pass an open field without imagining someone running through it. It's become a regular joke between my husband, children, and I. "Mom! There's a field. Shouldn't there be someone running through it?!" they tease me.

So, it only stands to reason that when I went downstairs this morning and spotted a tall silver screw and a couple little pieces of metal standing starkly, forming the shape of a cross, on top of my kitchen island, on GOOD FRIDAY no less, I saw something beautiful and incredibly meaningful. I immediately grabbed my camera. The camera wouldn't work at first and I was about to yell up to my daughter to ask if I could please borrow hers, when suddenly it took the shot. I brought up the view window and saw the picture I had just taken. There was a shadow perfectly formed in the shape of another cross. Hearing my son enter the room I said, "Paul! Look at this! It's a cross! On Good Friday!" I wanted someone else to witness what I was seeing. He must have taken in my wide eyes and my excited smile for just a second and then he said, "Yeah Mom, I did that".

Sometimes I see things that no one else sees. Other times I see things that another person places in front of me to see. The truth is, it doesn't usually matter how it comes to be. It's more important that it is witnessed, that it is simply seen in the first place.

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