Shadows

            Driving on the interstate with Delycia one morning, I started wishing that I could pass through my concerns and worries as smoothly as we passed through the many shadows of trees across the road. Even the most worrisome thoughts have no more solidity than shadows. They’re like wispy winds of the mind, having less substance and shape than breezes blowing across lawns. The worries that wander into my life would wander right out again if I saw them for what they are – flimsy and frail mental shapes, no stronger than shadows across the interstate.  

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   On the windowsill of my small study, there are a few figurines of my literary heroes (Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, among others), and sometimes I notice the shadows cast by the figurines on the wall by the morning sunlight. Not only do I notice the shadows, but I sometimes actually study them for a few minutes, just watching the way they shake and sway on the wall as the trees outside the window waver in the breezes. There I am, sitting at my desk, motionless and sort of mesmerized by these small, trembling shadows. The shadows are nothing, actually, just short-lived flickerings of light and darkness, but occasionally, for a few short minutes, they are more important than anything I have come to my desk to do. 

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Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you. — Walt Whitman