The Disappearing Fan Blade

 In Author

Every morning, I stretch for five to ten minutes on the living room floor. We’ve been living in an apartment for several months while we’re building a new house—what seems like a never-ending project—so in our minds, this arrangement is analogous to camping out. I usually wake up before dawn when only a sliver of illumination comes through the blinds from the common area lights outside. Oftentimes, I’m in an insomnia-induced fog, not too far from dreamland. It was during one of these mornings when I noticed something disconcertingly odd.

Above my head, there’s a white ceiling fan with five blades backdropped against a white ceiling. I swear one of those blades disappears. Every. Morning. The other four are perfectly visible. I lie on the floor squinting through the shadows and shifting from side to side, trying to see the fifth blade. But it just isn’t there. The first time it caught my attention, I thought I’d either have to convince the apartment manager the blade was missing when we moved in (good luck with that), or I’d have to find a replacement blade that matches the others. I’m not kidding when I say I was irritated.

As you can probably guess, when I got up and hit the light switch, the ceiling fan blade magically reappeared. Of course, the blade was there all along even though I couldn’t see it. But if I were unable or unwilling to turn on the light or at least wait until sunrise, it would’ve probably remained invisible to me. This ceiling fan is a perfect example of how our perception can change with new insight or simply the passage of time.

Years ago, I noticed a magnificent arrangement of flowers the first time I entered an LDS temple. Many people frequented this building, and I marveled at the high cost and sheer effort of replacing such incredible flowers on a regular basis. As I drew near, I discovered something that should’ve been obvious. The flowers weren’t real. Simultaneously, a distinct impression entered my mind: Things aren’t always as they appear. At the time, I’d been struggling with a challenging problem that seemed to have no clear answers. This experience prompted me to think I might have an erroneous view of the situation.

Our interpretation of events may change dramatically with time and perspective. Perhaps with age comes wisdom or maybe we just mellow as the years go by. Either way, striving to be humble and willing to reassess the events of our lives can only be a positive thing. How has your understanding changed of something that has happened in your life?


Photo Credit to eak_kkk at

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Start typing and press Enter to search