The shadows

by Lorin Michel Thursday, May 18, 2017 10:42 PM

The few clouds that drifted across the sky starting at noon seemingly floated lower to the earth with each passing hour. Big, black patches of shadow covered the valley below. Each was rimmed with the sun. The winds were whipping from all different directions. It actually hissed as it pushed across the deck and through the view port where it whistled through the bamboo reeds we have in a big clay vase. It was both ominous and beautiful, much like the world today.

As I watched the shadows ebb and flow with the tide of the wind, drifting lazily and violently, I thought of how life is much the same. We have sunny days and dark days; we have calm days and those not so calm. Lately, the days are mostly windy. It’s spring now. The calm of the fall and winter, even with its occasional calamitous storms, was strangely soothing. The days were short and cold, but we knew what each would bring. Now the days are sometimes cool and oft times warm, and the winds blow with the ferocity of chaos. They careen and damage, they threaten and cajole. They blow away the sunshine, and then the shadows descend. 

The metaphor is a bit heavy-handed, I know. But as I watched the shadows rimmed with sun, I saw what our country has become. Our spring drifts toward summer. The shadows are strong and the heat is intensifying. It’s what we are experiencing, and what we hope desperately will blow out to sea soon. 

I’ve watched the shadows descend upon the country for the past three and a half months. Always dangerous, they have become ominous. The last two weeks have bordered on the ridiculous. If I wasn’t watching and listening and absorbing with my own ears and eyes, if it was registering inside my brain, I wouldn’t believe it. A novel written with these plot twists would be deemed implausible. A film with these scenes would never get made.

And yet, here we are. Caught up in a horror movie of our own making. Each day we awake and open our smart phones to check the news, dreading what we’ll see and some of us strangely hopeful about what might come to be. We are confronted with headlines that shriek and scream. It’s like the boogieman hiding in the bushes coming out with a knife. And an Uzi. And enough c-4 to blow us all to Mars. 

Kevin and I are probably too political, even more so these days because of what has happened, because of the abomination in the oval office; because of a toddler throwing a perpetual tantrum.

There’s something lurking in the shadows. It’s frustration and fear. The wind blows and shifts the shadows and the frustration and fear becomes anger and rage. But regardless, all continue to be rimmed by sunshine.

Rimmed with hope. Hope that whatever is in the shadows dissipates.

Tonight as we watched the sun set, we also watched the shadows fade. The world and the turmoil quieted, at least for a bit. If only that would happen the real world.

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