Once upon a time, many decades ago, a young boy, his father, mother and sister took a trip to the north. It was autumn, and the leaves were brown, red, gold and rust. It was the season of the year when much was dying or going into hibernation. Frost was on the ground each morning. The days were bright and warm. Many a pleasant hour was spent in a canoe on the lake. The eyes of the night were clear and clean, and a full moon offered a well-lit path for night hiking.
The family was taking a week long vacation, and friends had loaned them their log cabin on the shore of a large and deep lake. The father was finishing his doctoral studies, and he and his family needed a break from such demands for a few days. So, the trip to the land of thick forests and solid rocks was welcomed and much anticipated by one and all. Gone, for a few days, were the demands that came from many directions.
The family had spent a lovely day on the lake, paddling about and dipping in the cold autumn water. Dusk had joined them. Wood had been cut with a razor sharp axe during the day. A match had been put to the tinder and dry wood, and a red hot fire was crackling and simmering in the stone thick fireplace.
The young boy was cool from the long day on the water, and his mother had prepared a steaming hot bath to warm him to the core. The daughter would soon follow him. Dinner was being cooked, the younger daughter was sitting by the fire, and the boy was in the bath. The time came when the young lad stepped out of the bath, and he ran, in his nakedness and with much haste and hurry, to the fire to stay warm.
Night had fallen, candles and fire were the only light and warmth in the cabin. A large window opened up a spacious view of the forest and the lake from within the cabin. The young boy, as I said, dashed to the fire, towels wound round him well, to the crackling warmth of the fire.
The father found all of this most interesting. He watched the life and energy of the young boy sitting by the fire, eager to get warm. There was something alive and real about all this. The father turned his head and saw a reflection of the young boy in the large window. Whenever the boy moved, the reflection in the window did the same.
The father had a camera (he often carried such a toy about with him), and he had a thought. He took a few pictures of the boy by the fire from a variety of angles, and the young boy was never shy about posing and making faces. Then, he took pictures of the reflection of the boy in the window. This meant, he would, in time, have four memories of the same situation.
There was the living and animated young boy by the fire, the reflection of the boy in the window, a photo of the boy by the red-hot fire and a photo of a reflection of the young boy in the window. And, when the father had done this, he thought of his studies and wondered what was more real and really worth doing. He realized he spent much of his time writing about either a photo of a reflection in a window, a photo of reality or reflections in the window. Rarely, did he actually deal with reality.
The small boy was now warmed and dressed, and he sat down on his father’s lap in a large rocking chair by the fire. The mother soon called them for dinner. The four of them sat down near the thick wax candles and the well-cut and crafted wood table and ate the full feast prepared for them.
All were soon tired, and they crawled under thick down covers as the fire dimmed and dimmed and darkness welcomed all to another night of sleep and slumber. Frost could be seen gathering on the window, but all were warm and snug for the evening.