Candle Wax in the Moonlight

Photo Courtesy of Pamela and Travis Etters

The Bellagio fountains this isn’t. Sure reminds me of the time I stood in front of those magnificent, rhythmic cascades, however. Difference being, I was a lot younger then and peered over a spray of hallucinating, musical vapors in person … unlike the experience of seeing this picture appear in my Facebook feed a few days ago.

Penn State, Altoona campus. A quiet reflection pond at moonlight time caught in perfect frame by my friend, Travis. No comparison to Bellagio’s 15 or 30 minute interval experience, depending upon when you would happen to scoot by their Las Vegas hook and play casino. High energy, impersonal lights and spray vs. this calm dark, contrasting reach into each of our lives. Inviting, isn’t it?

I don’t visit PSU often. That campus is so beautiful – with groves of trees allowing duck families good-time afternoons and students shady respites from their young, forward-looking studies. Snippets of sunshine I’ve seen on occasion while walking through during a food event, heading to the chapel to keyboard a nuptial hand-in-hand, or attending a function inside the Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts.

None of those wound me around the reflecting pond, let alone at night. What moon forces kept me away from such masterfully crafted, deep orange hues ricocheting off a glistening pond into my eyes? Oh, yeah. Me. I was too busy doing something else, … not probably. For sure.

That’s the way life is. We can’t see all the beautiful stuff that’s out there when it happens. Some get missed. Thankfully, there are folks, like Travis, who recognize subtle shimering upon still waters. He saw the light of the moon across the sky, and tapped into your individual imagination … whatever that is for you.

For me, I am a huge fan of black contrasting blue in photographs. The deep monarch orange slightly arching across finely separates the two. Blue is the future and black is now. I see lines of improvement asking me to look forward, through problems and challenges, to the end lights shining as flames tipping wax off candles. Tapered fire to the moon. A blue future burning off any clouds of doubt …

… from a picture of a reflecting pond. Any imaginations are acceptable. Yours, mine, theirs.

This captured image is, to you, whatever you need it to be. Unlimited. It has been left up to you when tapped on a phone … and posted on Facebook. The moon will stay tucked away in the sky. Campus lights flicker every night as the sun goes to sleep. Millions of years don’t change cellestial habits or movements set in place.

I was moved, however. Yeah, this guy – who really hasn’t taken a stroll down through the Penn State, Altoona campus lately – was taken aback by the poetic, artistic photograph my fine friend took the other night.

In a word, stunning. I tip a candle to Travis’ reflecting eye for beauty. May we see in ourselves a future so much more than what 15 minutes of cascading, bedazzling pizzazz would do for us in front of the Bellagio.

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