When the sun is low on the horizon in early morning or late afternoon, it reflects off the tiny water crystals that are snow. We do not normally see the crystals because they are so small and there are so many billions of them, but the sun sees each and every one of them. When it shines on the crystals at just the right angle, they are revealed to us like magic. As we move our field of vision up or down, to the left or the right, the crystals that are revealed change with our new view of the light’s reflection.
It’s water again, and that means it’s magic. I told you before about the Philosopher's Stone of the Great Alchemist. She is busy magicking the world again right under our noses. I snapped this photo as best as I could, but it doesn’t do the sight justice at all. What I saw was thousands upon thousands of brilliant points of light beaming back at me in the early morning sun, more precious and beautiful than a thousand diamonds.
And I had a vision. In the vision I saw the tiny crystals and thought of them as tiny little mirrors reflecting the energy of the sun back at me. All around me were tiny little mirrors, and I was happy with that thought, happy with a message that I supposed was about reflection and its lessons. I thought of how the microcosm mirrors the macrocosm and vice versa, how we each are reflections of one another. This is a lesson I already know, I told myself.
|Thousands of reflections from snow crystals.|
But then I saw a huge single mirror, hard and sleek. The sun shone upon it, and in its reflection I saw the world, perfect and blue and green and as pretty as any picture we have of it from outer space. It was a mesmerizing sight and my heart was filled with joy upon its appearance, but all at once the mirror crashed to the ground and smashed into thousands and thousands of pieces. I ran to try to save it but I was too late. All around me were sharp tiny chards of the mirror, each still reflecting a tiny piece here and there of the original world I had seen only moments before. Now green, now blue, now white, the reflections I could see from the tiny pieces were still beautiful but very incomplete. The world was gone.
I was very confused then and not nearly as confident about the lesson of reflection I thought I knew. Then I heard a voice and it said, “The whole is all of the pieces, and each piece is part of the whole. The whole is everything, and everything is a part of the whole. The whole is you, and you are a part of the whole.” I wasn’t sure what to make of this information, but I began to feel very inadequate and childlike. I started to realize just how little I knew of existence.
Then I saw another mirror. It was different from the first mirror. Its edges kept blurring and it moved slightly to and fro in a wave-like calculated rhythm. The sun shone upon it, and in its reflection I saw the world again, just as perfect and beautiful as I had seen it in the first mirror. This time it seemed to move and almost jump out at me. Once again, my heart was filled with joy upon its appearance. There before my eyes was all of the world in its magnificent splendor. Yet once again, the mirror crashed to the ground and smashed into thousands and thousands of pieces. I was beside myself with sorrow and fear, but as I walked around, I noticed that the chards from this mirror were different from the first mirror.
All around me were tiny little chards, but whereas the chards of the first mirror were sharp and hard, the chards of this mirror were soft and round. They also had the same blurred edges as the original mirror they came from, and the inside of each chard also moved in a wave-like calculated rhythm as the original mirror it came from. When I picked up a chard to examine it, I almost dropped it in fear because there in the tiny chard was a complete reflection of the perfect world I had just seen moments before in the large wavy mirror! Quickly I grabbed up dozens and dozens of chards, and each one showed a perfect world within it, albeit on a smaller scale.
Then I head the voice again. “The magic is not a mirror or a reflection. That is the great mistake of the human mind, which often thinks only in terms of imitation. The magic is a hologram, and when the hologram is smashed, each piece retains the complete image of the whole. The whole is one thing and is all of the pieces combined. The pieces are a part of the whole but reflect its entirety. You are a piece. You are the whole.”
My mind was reeling with the implications, and a wave of humility crept over me at what I was just beginning to comprehend. I felt embarrassed because I thought it meant that I was arrogant. What right did I, one tiny creature among uncountable trillions, have to entertain the idea that I was a tiny drop of the hologram? And as I said the word “drop” in my mind, the vision faded and I was back in my yard again in the snow.
The drops of water were frozen, just as the Great Alchemist had left them. Soon they would thaw and go from their crystalline structure to a liquid structure. From there, they would vaporize into their gaseous form. I picked up some snow and it melted in my palm. I dropped the water from one palm to the other, back and forth, still groggy from my vision. Each drop behaved in its own tiny world exactly as the ocean behaved in its massive world.
I was getting closer.