Monday, September 19, 2011

Shadow Lake

The swan is gone. The lake is just covered with Canada Geese and a few ducks...and probably lurking snapping turtles of the sort that attacked the poor swan. I walked along the little path at the edge of the lake. I saw an owl there a few days ago, peering at me with his great round eyes. I looked out over the lake. I had been calling it Swan Lake for months, though its real name is Shadow lake

"At least I went here almost every day to see the swans," I thought, "I felt like they would always be here, but still I came, because they were so beautiful. I enjoyed their presence as fully as I could while they were here. I'm glad of that, at least."

My dear friend, writing about missing her grown children said ," I never thought they might be living in a different state. But we did that to all our parents."

Another friend, reading the section of my book about the sadness of adult children growing distant lives, separate from me, told me she had to put the book down at that point. She has one child on the cusp of adulthood. She couldn't think about that, while the night in its dark forboding silence crept about her. Every parent of grown children feels the tormenting tug of time, I think. I thought of my sons in far away lands, and my parents, and sisters, and brother.

When the swans were still here, circling the lake, I loved to stand and watch them. There was almost never anyone else there. Why weren't the shores thronged with people wondering at the lovely white forms gliding so magically across the sparkling water? At first I would take lots of photographs. But then, I realized I couldn't capture what I felt watching the swans in a photograph. It was better to just stand there in silent awe and enjoy the ephemeral moment. Now, gazing at the still water, I thought that perhaps they had gone to a better place, a place where waters are still, and dangers no longer lurk below. Beauty and peace rest upon a New World.

So, I sighed, the swans are gone. Their beautiful S curved necks are just a shadow of a memory. I walked away wondering what I should turn my gaze upon now,  quickly, before it vanished too and entered the realm of Shadow.

Job 14: 1-2

 1 “Mortals, born of woman,
   are of few days and full of trouble.
2 They spring up like flowers and wither away;
   like fleeting shadows, they do not endure.

James 1:16-18

 16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
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1 comment:

  1. So true - I always find myself trying to burn the beautiful moments like that deep into my memory since I know they will pass someday.