The day comes wrapped in shadow. There is a hint of last night's dream, and sometimes of a nightmare, lurking beneath the thin veneer of the surface.
On days like this, I peel the wrapping away slowly, carefully. I clench my teeth and wonder what's beneath, if there will be sun.
Many days, there is nothing but shadow. The grayness invades your senses, like the sense of pending doom you felt when you broke the window in the garage, a simple accident, but surely one full of worry. "Accidents happen," you've been told, "because people aren't paying attention!" The message was clear, it is clear. Accidents must be punished.
On this day, surrounded by the shadow of too many lost dreams, you hesitate to open the present that is day, that is twelve hours of misery, that is fraught with scars and scabs and scares. Even as you know you invent many of them, the scares that cause the scabs and create the scars. They are of your own imagination. They aren't real. You whisper them into existence, with your eyes open.
Not all shadows are to be feared. There are shadows that comfort, with soft music and silent touches, like feathers or the gentle summer's breeze you felt so many years ago, when you were a child and not informed of loss; when you lay on cool, green grass in a backyard buzzing with insects, welcoming the slice of brightness coming round the big, white clouds in a far away sky, serene in its blueness. Those shadows slipped in and out of your sight, sometimes coming slowly to the edge of your left eye, slipping like a dribble of brown paint, one moment just a veil across your iris, and the next, a darkness that settled on your face, but only for a moment. A slow moment. It lasted three or four seconds, but, of course, you were a child, and you felt as if it were lasting all day. You lay there silently, allowing it to cover your whole body in that blanket of nothingness. Until, it gradually drifted off, and you were left with the sharp sun striking your eyes like pieces of broken glass.
I remember days when shadows were my friend; when I pulled them closer on purpose. I remember days when shadows gave me solace. I was always a loner, keeping to myself. I didn't quite understand other children - their raucous laughter felt like physical blows, sometimes. I wanted to laugh, too. But, I never really knew what they were laughing for, or about. On days like that, when other children were doing their childish things, racing about the neighborhood, or making mud pies in someone's backyard, I was happy in my own yard, alone, letting the shadows from afternoon clouds wrap me in story as I lay in the too long grass my father had failed to mow over the weekend.
I enjoy the shadows of early morning. The day does unwrap into sunshine, here in Colorado. I wrap the day in shadows, now, to remind me that I am a grown woman. Whatever world I lived in as a child, is lost in those long ago daydreams full of mystery.
Did I think the shadows would save the precious moments I clung to? Or, did I let the shadows grow, like fat, brown, gnarled chestnut trees, where dreams could hide and never again be found? Where prickly chestnuts would eventually fall, splitting open to reveal the smooth, deeply rich brown nuts inside? Nuts that were, in essence, part of the lost dreams.
I don't know. I only know that shadows are flitting things - they are the things of afternoons - made up of thin gauzy material - easily torn and thrown away.
I wrap the day in shadows, good or bad, hard or soft, each moment allows me to choose and sometimes I choose correctly. Other times, I do not.