Flood in Yard with View of Porch

Reflections on Reflections

Last month, our property flooded…. again.

I’d been here before. The skies open up over middle Tennessee in a deluge that simply saturates the land around our home, creating a lake out of our yard and a river over our driveway.

I took immediate action. I knew from experience the devastation that comes when floodwater reaches our house and seeps into the downstairs bedrooms. As we piled sandbags creating a flood barrier, the murky sea that was lush green lawn just two days prior creeped toward us, right to the corner of the house – ugly, sludgy, dismal brown. That water filled me with dread and anxiety.

Flood in Yard with View of Porch

A few days later, I was sitting on my upstairs deck in the bright sun, looking down at the water (now more of a large pond than a lake). As I beheld that enemy from just days before, I found myself now marveling at its beauty. In the sunshine, the gorgeous spring foliage around our property was reflected spectacularly and clearly. The water – so disgusting and fear-inducing before – was now beautiful.

It was the same gross water. The same house and yard, still flooded. But in that moment, I saw all the beauty around me reflected in the water.

Reflection of sun on water

The shift in my perspective was potent. I had ventured out onto my deck with continued worry about our property, but as the sun and water reflected the beauty around it, I realized a truth about humanity – my humanity.

At my worst – when I am raw, sludgy, and overwhelmed- it’s hard to see past the drudgery, the ugliness in my life – my very being. Yet even at my worst, there is light. Light that reflects the image of my Creator, and like my temporary pond, His creation.

What a gift. A moment of reflection, and in it: beauty.

Dr. Teresa M. Moon is President and CEO for the Institute for Cultural Communicators. She empowers extraordinary leaders globally to influence culture. Her mentees have spoken at the White House, G8 Summit, United Nations, throughout the United States and in 20-plus additional countries. She is an internationally recognized speaker, author and leadership coach.


  • yvonne

    What a great visual! It got me to thinking how the emotions and fears of past experiences can be carried into the future – and taint the way we perceive new experiences. The sludge we carry with us! It’s only when we pause and raise our gaze that we can see above the sludge. What a great visual of the lake vs the pond and reminder to not let ourselves be distracted!

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