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Leaf and be happy

Who’s to say what ifrit or shadow had decided to bewitch or lead me down a dark path. Nature’s sylphs had seen fit to break the spell and reroute me on a more pleasant path.

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Leaf and be happy.

Normally, when something is bothering me, it shows in my face first. Most people get or feel tense. Others fidget and get antsy, needing to move or fret to diffuse nervous tension. Others reach for a pint of ice cream or chatter nervously to the person closest to them. My anxiety concentrates on my face, tightening my lips, frowning my brow, curling the corner of my nose upward in a gesture many confuse for disgust, but which when adequately translated means: “Give me a moment. I need some space to figure this out.”

It must have been some moment, or I may have needed more elbow room than I’m normally allowed, because nature saw it fit to intervene and interrupt whatever settled on my mind to make me look as if I needed more than a block’s worth of space.

Out of nowhere, this guy dropped from a nearby tree, landing right across my path, breaking the troubling reverie that had taken over. I couldn’t help but pause and take a second look to be sure I had seen correctly. There, between the cracks: a smile.

“No, you fool!” my brain cried exasperated. “It’s a leaf! Leaves don’t smile. You’re having a moment of paraidolia. That inexplicable human need to find and see patterns in inert objects. It’s the same thing that happens every time you look at a potato and think you can eat it because it was smiling at you. Or when you meditate and start seeing faces all over the wood floor. Snap out of it!”

And snap out of it I did. I grabbed my phone, snapped a photo of the leaf, and continued on my way.

I wasn’t frowning any longer. The corners of my nose dropped back in place. I added a lighter step to my walk, and I found myself humming the theme song of a certain 1960’s sitcom that worms itself into my brain whenever I feel silly.

Who’s to say what ifrit or shadow had decided to bewitch or lead me down a dark path. Nature’s sylphs had seen fit to break the spell and reroute me on a more pleasant journey.

The Practice of Contemplative Photography.

About the author Walter

Walter lives and works in and around South Florida. When not practicing or studying acupuncture, you can find him at one of Miami’s beaches, or in a coffee shop lost in the pages of a good book. Walter enjoys diverse interests such as reading Tarot, practicing Qi Gong and Tai Chi, learning Buddhist dharma, practicing shamanic healing, writing for his blogs, reading Oriental philosophy, traveling to new places and old favorites, exploring contemplative photography with his iPhone, sitting quietly in meditation, practicing healthy fitness, and promoting wellbeing.

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One Comment

  1. Let’s not be too sever on paraidolia. Man’s need to find meaning in life is ancient and does us good.

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