Reflective

Reflection.

I can’t hear that word without breaking into song a la Mulan. (I prefer the movie version over the pop version. I do pretty good if I do say so myself.) The thing about reflections – they only reflect what is there. The interpretation is the variable.

Whether examining your own reflection in a mirror, whether reflecting on the past, whether admiring shiny pretty reflective things, whether reflecting on how well you reflect Christ’s light – the interpretation is open to the examiner. You and I may both observe the same object, and yet we may see completely different things.

I’ve developed something of a habit of sunset photography. It so happens that the dumpster is located next to a stock pond, and while carrying up the trash one evening, I noticed the reflection of the sunset on the water. The angle of the sun behind the trees was just right so that the junipers glowed as if on fire. The fiery trees and the orange sky melting into blue could all be seen in the pond reflection. Of course, I went back home to get my camera.

But after snapping a few sunset pictures and pond pictures, the photo shoot soon turned into a photography session for one young tree, growing in the middle of the pond, reflected on the water.

Where you see a tree, I see a tree that makes me think of my mom and my daughter, a tree that I want to grow in my back yard, to sit and listen to on breezy days.

My mom and dad had a tree like this on their property here. Like a sentinel it stood at the entrance to their long driveway, and many years ago my oldest daughter (when she was but a toddler) dubbed it “the rain tree.” Why? Because if you stand and listen to the leaves blowing gently in the breeze, it sounds like a soft rain.

And it does.

I think perhaps, though I am not certain, that this is called a Quaking Aspen. I’m not quite convinced I’ve identified it correctly – I find conflicting information about whether or not they’re supposed to grow this far south. I do know that there are two or three trees like this on the piece of property to the right of us. And there are two or three baby trees in the pond to the left of us. But there are no “rain trees” on the piece of property we live on and hope to buy some day soon.

I admit, the thought has crossed my mind to ask if I can dig up a baby rain tree right now while the pond is dry and transplant it. Or perhaps I can just identify it and purchase a few big enough to make noise, so that I can sit in my yard and listen to the “rain” and feel close to my mom – even when she’s hours away.

I still have a little while before I can even start planning and planting my currently non-existent back yard. But one thing I already know, one way or another, it’s going to have a “rain tree” in it. (By purchase or by shovel.)

This week’s Popinjay photo prompt was “reflective.” Head over to Michele’s – who is hosting for Michelle this week. (And next week it will be my turn, for the word “savvy.” A word I’m not sure has ever been used to describe me for pretty much anything. So it should be quite interesting. =P )

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Karina
Karina
June 8, 2010 8:48 am

What a beautiful post! A lovely picture too, and I sure hope you can transplant the little raintree to you land. You’ve got me curious about raintrees now too! I want one. Lol

Saavy has me a little scared…I’ll have to think hard on that one.

Amber
Amber
June 8, 2010 11:34 am
Reply to  Karina

Karina – They’re so lovely! And they get very tall. They take a long time to grow so most likely they are longer living trees, which is nice. I’m not sure if I have a Quaking Aspen or a cousin, but I’m pretty sure that you should be able to have QA’s up where you are, and the description of their sound is similar. Thinking about our future back yard, I have been doing a lot of paying attention to trees and learning about the native trees in our area that I’ve never paid much attention to before. I also… Read more »

Michele Lee
Michele Lee
June 9, 2010 2:19 pm

I like this one a lot! And what great musings on the theme too 🙂

Juliana
Juliana
June 9, 2010 6:06 pm

I can’t really tell in your photo, but it is possible that your tree is a cottonwood? If I recollect from my “tree class” (dendrology) that is Populous deltoides. We had those in Tennessee and they did a similar shaky-leaf thing. I think they are pretty wide-spread in the south but you could check on that.

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