I’ve never been able to figure out Groundhog Day — it seems counter intuitive to me that if furry ol’ Phil does NOT see his shadow, then an early spring is coming to the rescue.  Shouldn’t it be the other way around? He sees his shadow if the sun is out; the sun heralds brighter, warmer days ahead, ergo, shadow should be good news. But that’s not how it, allegedly, works. And besides, I no longer trust prognostication anyway.

The week before Christmas nurses and doctors told us my mother had maybe a few weeks, perhaps a month. Going on 2 months later, it all feels like sweet bonus time.  This disease is so damn hard to predict, but the shadow is unmistakably there. It hangs heavier each day, as does her head, now that neck muscles have surrendered, retreating back into a long winter sleep. And the shadow of this failing body casts other darkness — frustration, fear, short tempers, unspoken wishes, heavy and gray silence. We fumble around in the uncertain light, the tripping shadows, as best we can.

I don’t know how, exactly, the days ahead will unfold.  I no longer look to timelines or predictions.   But I know that winter and weakness will linger, and warmth and sunshine will come, blessedly, at intermittent times, to show us the way forward.  I know that shadows are inevitable, and necessary, and that seeing my own offers an opening toward spring’s promise of growth.



~ by Stephanie on 02/03/2011.

3 Responses to “A.Ludicrous.Shadow”

  1. I was just thinking of you today, Stephanie, wondering how you were and how your mother was doing. I’m sorry to hear of this inevitability — I send you love and peace and courage.

  2. So beautiful, Stephanie, your words and thoughts. You remind me that it is also Candlemas, when the balance of darkness and tenuous light is observed. This shadowy time. Thank you for writing.

    • I intended to tie in Candlemas to that post, but it was late, and I was tired, and I just petered out. Images of Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, mixed with icons of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin, had creative potential for sure. Loved the idea of portending — of Mother and Father bringing baby Jesus to the temple, the prophesies and blessings they received there, the peeking ahead to what might be. Thank you, as always, for digging deeper and making connections, shedding new, rich and layered light, holy and yes, tenuous.

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