REFLECTIONS: Pausing for reflection in a time of loss

It’s strange how things sort of overlap. Stir the mind. Stir the memories. Cause pause for reflections.

It started out sitting at a friend’s lakefront summer home. We talked. Often meet for coffee, but this time I ran away from home to her own, and we sat and reflected. Chatted. At times laughed.

Other times drew serious.

A glance out the window was pause for reflecting. Trees lining the opposite shore begged for a second glance. And insisted on a photo. It was later when I glanced again at the photo I saw a whole row of green trees showing up in the lake. They sort of didn’t exist in the upper half of the reflections, hidden behind another tree in the picture. It perched on “this” side of the lake.

Isn’t it true? Even in reflections, we sometimes miss something. Or something is there, hidden from its own reflection in the lake or in our mind.

In the past week, so it has been.

More than one person has asked in recent days if I was planning to write about a man named Sanford Stieg - “Vern.”

I said, no, I knew him, but I didn’t really know him. I would see him along the highway. Walking. Riding. If in town, he’d always nod. Me too.

I learned of his death, but yet the name didn’t click to who he was or why I might have known him, and yet …

It was then people shared. Some called him kind. Some said he rode bike. Some said a three-wheeler now. Still others said he was interesting. A hard worker. A good soul. He lived alone, I’m told. Passed his place one day and saw a cross standing in front, draped with a flag.

And I felt a sudden sadness. I knew him, but not really. Not enough to write about him.

To touch the loss of truly meeting the man others spoke so kindly of, and it brought me back to the reflection from the lake.

The “trees” we could not see, because we couldn’t see past the one blocking our view.

Aren’t there many things we know, we think, and find we don’t. Or we see not, then realize we needed to look a little above, or below the apparent picture to see it all. So it is. Time to reflect. To accept things we cannot change, change what we can, and know the difference. Wish I had not just known who he was, but rather him. There are so many who did. They shared rides, thoughts, a kindness, a different perspective, a truer reflection.