This morning, as I sat drinking my coffee, I noticed the speckled light moving across the room. It landed on a porcelain bear that my husband had picked up at a garage sale, and cast an amazing shadow. A strong, angular bear, chiseled out of the ice on which it’s standing. A bear that looks a lot like the tattoo my husband had on his arm. A piece of art that I will never see again.
I continued to think about shadows as I walked out into the beautiful morning. We used to laugh at my old dog’s shadow because we thought her shadow looked like an ant-eater. My new pup, her shadow looks like some kind of mythical wolf. Fierce and fangy. I looked over at my shadow this morning, too. A long, lonely alliteration.
We are our shadow selves, are we not?I’ve also been thinking about the healing beauty of nature. And how, right now, that beauty hurts. It hurts to walk through the woods alone. It hurts to see the changing palette of the prairie. I don’t want to enjoy the arrival of the birds. I don’t want to enjoy this sharp fresh morning. I want spring to stay in the shadowland, I want spring to stay in stasis, trying to avoid the inevitable, like I am.
These are the shadows that you don’t expect. Softly settling in, a dark sad mist where there once was light.
But I know it will shift again. It just did. This morning, in the shadows, it became clear.
My beautiful bear is lumbering away, the shadow of a beast, the shadow of a life…I can’t keep his ashes contained forever. in a house. in a container. inside. I will need to let him go. Back to nature, where he belongs.