Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Walking Shadow

Tomorrow will be my first day at the new job, the first real job I’ve worked at in a year. So today, naturally, I had to watch both girls, at home since school’s inexplicably closed the day after the Memorial Day holiday (they’ve actually had five days off in a row now). Since it’s my final day as Official Caretaker, we did a lot of things: went out for a long walk in the morning before the heat rose too oppressive; ran errands, such as a sidetrips to Five Below and the pet store for hamster bedding; watched a cool movie during the afternoon heat spike while eating sandwiches and chips; went to the park so they could bang on the monkey bars and I could walk the paths in meditative silence, reflecting on this crazy past year.

It was during my walk that I saw the walking shadow.

The path winds around a large pond, perhaps twice the size of a football field, in the geometric center of my town. Meandering through canopies of trees and vines, the path hugs the “coastline”, with the fenced-in backyards of our more expensive homes the path’s other border. Every thirty, forty, fifty feet is a small dock; not large enough to launch a boat (there are no boats on the pond), but more for fishermen and bird watcher types. I found a more secluded one, and stepped out to the edge and rested against the sturdy wood beams.

The book in my hand was one on Shakespeare. Leafing through the pages, I settled on a short excerpt from Macbeth:

Life’s but a walking shadow, … It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Immediately after I read these lines I glanced out on the pond, and saw the walking shadow. I had the presence of mind to pull out my cell phone and ensnare the otherworldly visitor in a jpeg:

Then the sugary jingle of the ice cream truck wafted through the brush. I knew my girls would be in Pavlovian overdrive. So, eyes flitting between the mocking image in the water and the dancing follicles up and down my arms, I reluctantly stepped off the dock to intercept them. Fortunately my picture of the walking shadow sufficiently creeped out Little One enough to make her – and, subsequently, Patch – forget all about Bomb Pops and Chocolate Eclairs.

Still don’t know what it means. I’m betting, though, it’s actually a good omen.

What a great little happening to end my Year of Exile!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

WOW! It is a sign for sure! Good luck, Hopper!