As you can already tell, I have this mirror. Mounted onto the wall behind it that is still furnished with last century’s wallpaper of pale sickly lavender, it is nothing more than just a piece of glass. Rimmed with an intricate gold, as olive branches sprouted across its circular frame, it was smeared with old lipstick stains and oily fingerprints. Absolutely lacklustre, almost uninspiring.
Now, you may be wondering, why did I spend the last few sentences describing this dreary thing. Well, I have news for you. This was or maybe is no ordinary mirror. If you were to look at it with the usual eyes, to check upon one’s attire or countenance or even to just glance at it occasionally from time to time, all you would see is your reflection as expected of any glass. However, if you were to look at it searching for answers or thoughts, it would speak through to you consciously, like an inspiration impressed upon your soul. I discovered this as I was spending a pensive afternoon staring at it blankly as I sipped on my tea.
What does it take to make a man happy? Is it immense wealth or fame or being blessed in the genetics department? I have seen aplenty of rich and famous as well beautiful looking people that are undeniably miserable. What do mankind need in order to push forward in life truly to live each day at least satisfactorily? There is an emptiness in following a regime of a society where everyone is out there to impress rather than impact, to brag instead of hug and to speak instead of listen.
“Humankind needs three things to be happy”, whispered a smooth silky voice with the resonance of chiming bells.
Startled, I spilled my tea as my hand lost its grip on the tiny handle of my porcelain teacup adorned with the miniature of a tree.
“Who is that!”, I cried out my voice hoarse from the tea that almost entered my windpipe.
“Well, it is me, over here. No, on your right dear, yes now look at the wall”, the charming musical voice directed. However, I could see no one and I was half convinced I was hallucinating. I probably had too much caffeine from drinking this many cups, I believe.
“Dear, you are looking right at me now. Stop and look closely”
I narrowed my eyes down to my reflection staring right back at me. There is no way, this can’t be it. How can a mirror be speaking to me?!
“Oh, you are quite an endearing one, aren’t you? I am the same mirror that Snow White’s wicked stepmother used to determine if her beauty was still relevant. Now, don’t look at me like that! I hated serving that woman, but I must listen to my new owner every time they change hands if not, I might lose my magical abilities”, the mirror exclaimed as her voice of bell peals echoed cheerfully.
“Oh okay, so the three things you were about to tell me, madam mirror? Or shall I use the old ‘mirror , mirror on the wall’ courtesy? ”, I asked curiously not wanting to disrespect this magical mirror.
I could almost hear it smiled. “I believe we should not stand on formalities, dear girl. You may call me Emilie.That’s my name before I got acquainted with that queen witch and have gotten my good name blacklisted from all the other magical artefacts!”, remarked Emilie resentfully.
“The three things are to have something to work on today, to have something to look forward to in the future and to have someone to love”, she continued.
I pondered deeply on the very first thing she mentioned. To have something to work on today is to find something that I am especially interested in for myself or maybe even for another. I think it is to always be on the forward goal of bettering oneself regardless of the space and pace that I am at currently.
“Look at the little tree on your teacup. Now, you know how trees grow. They must start of as a little seedling and then with time, nutrients, and differing weather conditions, it will be able to stand the test of time as a mighty tree that even the very storms cannot weather. However, it cannot start to imagine being a mighty tree if it doesn’t work each day to strengthen its stems and branches as well as sprout healthy leaves. Likewise, it is a daily effort to work on improving ourselves and doing so would enable us to appreciate the little things that makes up who we are as well as to be grateful to ourselves for the efforts that we took for our own growth”, explained Emilie gently. Her sweet musical voice verberating throughout the petite living room.
“So, the second thing is to have something to look forward to?”, I enquired thoughtfully, my lips pursing in wonder.
“Ah, you have a good memory, my dear girl. Yes, indeed! Having something to look forward to is basically a roadmap to success. As a tree grows each day and sprout new leaves and build new roots and branches, it must know that it is to survive and grow into a mighty tree. The hope of turning into a mighty tree is what motivates its growth, and it is the same for humankind. We need to have a goal, a destination that we want to achieve, garner or attain so that we can be motivated to press on in the present moment!”, enlightened Emilie enthusiastically.
“And the third is to have someone to love or to love something”, I interjected curiously.
“Yes, dear girl. Love is power. It is the most misunderstood, underrated form of power there is! A tree is just one tree in an entire ecosystem of a forest but the nutrients from the soil where different animals and plants have contributed throughout their lifecycles enriches the soil and brings nourishment to the tree. The trees serve as home to the various wildlife and fauna that inhabits the forest as well too. Likewise, we are all interdependent with one another. We cannot be alone if we want to be happy. Loving someone is a form giving in which you get much more than what you actually give. You get nourished as you nourish another. You get to love yourself as you love another, as that very same love is reflected back at you and you start to be thankful for the very littlest yet profound things about you”, Emilie finished contently.
I feel her smile as she waited for me to digest everything that was shared in the past hour. The folds that developed around my temples since the beginning of this afternoon’s discussion begin to unravel and my face relaxed as my eyes twinkled. I understood. While appreciating the enlightened words of wisdom, I looked up momentarily at the mirror. It was as it was right at the start, lifeless and dull. “Emilie? Are you there?”, I asked cautiously wondering if this was just all in my head.
Nothing. Minutes passed as I nursed my forehead.
“Emilie, thank you”
A lovely wind gushed in gently carrying with it the chimes of bells.