This week we had a freak accident in our house. While we were out for the day, the mirror in our master bathroom fell off the wall, hitting the sink handle on its way down. The sink was running full blast for hours, flooding the bathroom with water that drained into the basement through light fixtures in the ceiling. Upon our return, it was quite a sight to behold: flooded bathroom, flooded playroom, buckling ceiling.
The incredible element of this story is not the freaky domino effect of the mirror turning on the water and the water running through basement light fixtures. That is a somewhat believable chain of events. What's really odd is that the mirror, having hit three hard surfaces, metal and tile, and landing face down on the floor...remained unbroken. The only damage to the mirror was a small crack in its frame. As I waded through the bathroom and turned the mirror over, I was pleasantly surprised to find it had not shattered. My Scottish father-in-law said our family had been spared months of therapy. No bad luck omen for us this time around. In fact, I think the unbroken mirror is a very good omen.
I am a believer in synchronicity, divine intervention, signs from the spiritual realm...and many other cooky and mystical things. Hence, I find our recent household "accident" to be a positive sign. My slightly psychic Mom agrees with me. A mystical friend and teacher suggested that I look into the significance of the mirror and water symbolism inherent in the event. So here is what I came up with:
The mirror symbolizes perception. On a large scale, the mirror points to the way we interpret external reality through the lenses of our mind and senses. On a smaller scale, the mirror points to self-perception. Water is one of the four universal elements (the others being fire, air and earth). Water is formless. When it is calm, it clearly reflects what surrounds it. When it flows, it is a force of transformation. Heraclitus said, "No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river, and he's not the same man." Cascading water is a powerful image of the flow of life, which always brings change.
Our mirror fell face down into water flowing powerfully down, like a waterfall. In this occurrence, I see perception in motion and the power of flow moving the formless. What can this mean on a personal level? It made me think about identity. Over the course of our lives, within our home life, as we age and as we grow, our identities can dramatically shift and change--and this is a beautiful thing. Change and transformation are gifts, and we are not broken by these gifts...rather, we are enhanced. If we trust the flow of life and move away from rigidity, we are not brittle. We are not easily broken.
My mother had a similarly uplifting interpretation of our household omen. She said the mirror remaining unbroken was a message from God, symbolizing strength in the midst of what may appear chaotic on the surface. Even in the midst of change and turmoil, strength remains intact. She said that such an accident occurring within the home points to the resiliency of our family unit. I agree. I also feel like there is a personal message for yours truly. It is the mirror I use most often as it is too high for my boys, and my husband shaves in the shower. I feel like for me, the meaning is that a period of intense transformation is winding down and I will come out of it with my inner strength and beauty intact. Might be good to remain aware of narcissism creeping into my habits, just to top things off.
On a practical note, we like our insurance adjuster. We're getting a check. A contractor is lined up to fix the ceiling. Our rug is being restored. And we found some stronger wall anchors for that mirror. This is it, by the way: