How to look at a puddle…

Image of reflection in puddle
Jodoin, Marc-Oliver, “Reflection in a Puddle.” January 5, 2018. Image © Unsplash

After precipitation clouds form in the sky and water droplets fall to the ground, the water accumulates at the lowest points of the earth’s surface to create a pool of liquid, otherwise known as a puddle. Puddles can be unpredictable as they depend on the location in which the water falls, however, they are not random. Puddles are part of the water cycle, as they are an indicator that the water has been halted from traveling down into the earth or running into lakes and oceans. This is because of gravity, as water is constantly flowing downward until it is stopped by something such as a low point of a landscape where puddles would form. Therefore, they help us understand the water cycle that is a continuous and ongoing process with no distinct beginning or ending. But where do these small pools of water go on a sunny day? On a very hot and sunny day, the water from the puddle evaporates as the liquid dissolves into the earth’s atmosphere and we must wait for another stormy day for a puddle to come again. 

If puddles are so important, why do we ignore them and even avoid them on our daily commutes? Puddles are humble, don’t attract too much attention to themselves, and let people walk all over them… literally. Although seemingly simple, puddles are quite special as each has a unique story behind them that is often overlooked and disregarded, yet genuinely beautiful. Some puddles that form in the suburbs are muddy and opaque, filled with dirty water which usually make us want to dodge them while we walk to and from our destinations. Other puddles form in downtown potholes of asphalt and become still and smooth like glass. This small body of water becomes so still and smooth that it produces a clear reflection as the angle of light that hits the puddle reflects off of the ground at an identical angle. This produces a picture perfect image. However if there are any disturbances the reflection becomes distorted. This puddle has the power to show a reflection and a mirror image of the world and whoever chooses to look upon it and also distorts itself when it is tampered with.

As adults, we often avoid puddles walking in everyday life as they are typically small enough to step over. We avoid them as they can even ruin our day whenever our new shoes get destroyed by the muddy pool of water or we get splashed when a car zips by on the busy streets. But why is it that children love puddles so much? Children are confident, curious, and capable beings who have a natural instinct to explore their environment and use their senses. Puddles make children want to run, jump and splash around while enjoying their innocence and freedom in exploration. Adults often sing “Rain, rain go away, come again another day” to children as rainy days are perceived as messy due to the splashing of dirty water and mud that occurs. Although many adults fail to embrace their inner child and look past the messiness to uncover beauty and freedom in puddles. The hustle and bustle of daily life hinders many from stopping to smell the roses, or in this case appreciate the beauty in puddles. No puddle is the same, just like no two humans are the same as they come in different shapes and sizes. They have the power to evoke feelings out of humans as they make each of us feel differently. These overlooked, and seemingly meaningless puddles can look dull and empty of interest although tell us a story and open doors to both our imagination and reality (Elkins 14).

Works Cited:

Elkins, James. How to Use Your Eyes. Routledge, 2009.

Jodoin, Marc-Oliver. “Reflection in a Puddle.” Unsplash. 5 January. 2018, 

Disclaimer: Images in this online exhibit are either in the public domain or being used under fair dealing for the purpose of research and are provided solely for the purposes of research, private study, or education.