Most people I met in Utah hated the Salt Lake.
“It smells bad, it’s filled with brine shrimp, and it’s ugly.“
A few months after arriving in Utah, I got the chance to see the lake myself.
I pulled over to the side of the road and looked at the expanse.
The surface seemed like it had a reflective film placed over it. The mountains, deep blue sky, and wispy clouds were mirrored on the surface of the Lake.
Approaching the shore I looked down and saw myself in the water. It’s not ugly, I thought— It’s just a reflection.
The landscape nestled and cradled the Lake, and the Lake reciprocated the beauty.
But consider the Lake itself.
With no mountains and a colorless sky above, the Lake would be empty, devoid of life.
I drove further up the road until I got to a place with no landscape. From here, the lake was nothing.
It was just nothing.
Months later I was walking through the Temple Square and stopped in my tracks. There was a pool with perfectly translucent water. On the surface you could see the sky and buildings above.
I was reminded of my experience at the Salt Lake.
The shallow pool that held the water was nothing but black stone. The water captured the fleeting picture of the city and held its beauty, just as the city held it.
But by itself the pool was nothing.
No matter what surrounds it, the water holds it in. The beautiful, the ugly, and the nothing.
I am not too different than this. My surroundings, the landscape around me, who is around me, is all captured and reflected by myself.
I also know that I change, just as the seasons change the landscape.
The reflection shifts, only holding onto what cradles it.
Maybe my sentiment is what is hinted at by Emerson:
“To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again. The heavens change every moment, and reflect their glory or gloom on the plains beneath.“