Shadow Days

Sixty miles north, sunlight on the Talkeetna Mountains. Half an hour south, the Turnagain Arm’s aglow. Here in the middle, rain makes dreary the day in Eagle River.

Why not us? Why the cloud cover and cold rain? When will our turn come?

Merging with southbound traffic, I have a mind to skip the errands and chase the sun.

“What You Water Grows”

This is the message on the cover of my planner. It makes me think of the succulent on my windowsill, the one I bought in Alabama. The one that keeps hanging on no matter the view, no matter the weather. It should have dried out by now for the lack of water and knowledge on my part. I don’t even know what it’s called.

This is the message that goes further, to the spirit, whether it intended to or not. It hangs out on my kitchen counter and unapologetically gets to the root of the problem, one day at a time.

When the shadow of young trees outstretches the road, or when entire mountainsides go dim in the shadow of other mountains, I realize two things. First, the days of sun are returning. Second, shadows often seem greater than their sources.

It is the same way with my fear, my lack of faith, my anxious thoughts. And like a house plant they grow as I water them, as I meditate on them. Soon, they stop me in my tracks. They swallow me up.

Though their sources are valid, their shadows are only illusions.

I could chase the sun. I could drive out of this valley of shadow into brighter places. Yet, even the sun is an illusionist. He appears to come and go with the tilt and spin of our planet. He fills us with happiness that simply cannot keep, that cannot ring true on the darkest winter day.

Better to look to the Source of the sun, the One who sees our shadow days for what they really are. Better to meditate on Him, to receive and devotedly water the peace, faith, and hope He gives.

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