Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Me & My Shadow

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I've been working at home a lot lately, writing and editing, mostly. In the early mornings, before the rest of the house is awake, I've been taking walks to the far, infrequently visited corners of our 80 acres. I've noticed that my shadow has been following me in a very odd way--almost like a detective "tailing" a suspect.

Yesterday, I caught a glimpse of my shadow as he passed in front of a sizable oak on the southeast corner of our land. I'd been sitting on top of the hill, on the moss-covered girth of a fallen maple trunk, copy-editing some text and just contemplating. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my shadow watching me.

A pair of pileated woodpeckers laughed maniacally to each other from opposite sides of our beech grove. This distracted me momentarily and, when I looked for him again, my shadow was gone.

I caught sight of him a few more times as I walked up the brambly hillside, across the gushing draw, along the township road, and down our drive. But I didn't let on that I saw him.


On January 26, 2006 at 9:00 AM Laura K said...

Hey, Bill, as long as yer waxin' poetic on shadows, thought I'd share my favorite Robert Louis Stevenson poem on said topic.

My Shadow
I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me.
Whatever can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from my heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow--
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every single way.
He stays so close beside me, he's a coward, you can see;
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy shadow, like an errant sleepyhead,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

--From A Child's Garden of Verses.

Signing off, Laura K-Lo Kammermeier

On January 26, 2006 at 9:19 AM Bill of the Birds said...

Hey KLo!
Thanks for the comment. I LOVE that RLS poem and have not read it in years. It takes me way back.....
Nice to "hear" from you.

On January 27, 2006 at 11:30 AM Lori S said...

Hey Bill,

The pileated woodpeckers have been sighted around our Olmsted Falls woods this winter too, and bring the maniacal excitement from INSIDE the house!

I'm looking forward to trying the pb suet recipe. We have a dish of food on the picnic table on the front porch, and have regular visitors taking turns politely. THe biggest lately have been 3 mourning doves, a 1st for us. The little juncos kind of eye them suspiciously....

On January 27, 2006 at 10:37 PM Bill of the Birds said...

Hi Lori!
Nice to know your musical ears can also appreciate the pileated's "Music."