Optical illusions

Perhaps I’m losing it, who is to say? But lately I’ve been seeing things that appear at first to be not as they really are. I’ll give you a couple of for instances and let you be the judge.

I was blessed with a grade school teacher who suggested to my parents that I should have my eyes tested. When asked to stand and read from my Mary, John and Peter book, she had caught me reading over the shoulder of the girl who was seated ahead of me. She thought that I might be far-sighted, because when the girl turned the page prematurely, I just skipped what should have been read. Such being so, found me wearing glasses ever since I was seven.

Being far-sighted, much of my time back then was spent peering at things that were beyond the sight of most others. Perhaps that was the reason I developed a liking for birds. Even though I wear bifocals, I still find myself peering at something in the distance by sliding them down on my nose and looking over the upper rims of my glasses.

The other morning, as I looked out of my upstairs window while slowly munching a banana, I could see something unusual that was flopping up and down the ridge of the snow-covered hillside. The movement of whatever it was, was difficult to decipher at that distance, but it seemed quite large and disoriented. As I watched between banana bites, it kept repeating its peculiar flip-flop movements.

It wasn’t until I had finished munching my usual morning get-up-and-get-going snack, that I suddenly realized what I was watching. What I was actually seeing was a tiny fruit fly that was trying to escape from a minute spider web that haphazardly clung to the inside of my window. The web was completely in line with the crest of the snow-covered distant hill.

I usually make my breakfast in the downstairs kitchen, but now that the weather has turned cold, I have switched from eating on the front porch, and munch breakfast, brunch or lunch at a small table by a window that overlooks our parking area. As a result, I can see the cars that come and go as we sell eggs on the self-serve honour system from the workshop across the lane.

When I casually looked out, I was more than surprised to see six vehicles that were tightly tandem parked, with a side door swung open on each. But when I realized that I was peering on an angle through bifocal as well as a double-glazed thermopane window, I decided I had better look a little bit closer. On second look, I saw only two vehicles and two customers, one carrying two dozen eggs, the other carrying three. They stood apparently swapping change with each other in order to put the proper amount into the cash cup.

That short half hour of gawking proved to me three things. The first was that the bananas must have been organically grown as stated on the package, as it was obvious, in the dead of winter, the fruit fly came from them. The second was that you can’t always believe what you first thought you saw. And the third was that people, when trusted, are basically honest.

Take care, ‘cause we care.




Barrie Hopkins