Things make shadows. A tree, a building, and you and I make shadows.

The dictionary defines it as, "a dark figure or image cast on the ground or some surface by a body intercepting light."

So, one cannot see a shadow without the presence of light.

It also defines it as, "shelter; protection: sanctuary in the shadow of the church."

And as the song goes, "The shadow of your smile."

I have lived in the shadows of life. I have felt the chill and emptiness of lingering much too long in places I hoped no one would find me. I just didn't want to be found.

Still, shadows need not be thought of as dark, forbidden places. I find relief in the shadow of a tree on a hot summer day. I find comfort in hiding my face beneath the bed covers, far from lights reach.

I have stayed in the afterglow of remembering someone and reaching out attempted to touch their face one more time until...until the light found me and helped me to see they were gone. All that was left was the memory, like the scent of perfume that remains in the air as someone passes by, a gentle breeze steals all but the recollection.

Shadows of the scent of her. Me consumed within the wanting, needing to see her again.

You know by now how I feel about airports. I love them and I hate them. It's the Hello's I love. I dread the goodbyes.

I was there yesterday waiting for Marianne to come back from a business trip. I was surrounded by people waiting in the shadows of memories.

I intruded on a family whose excitement was infectious. So much so that I couldn't wait for whomever they were longing to see again.

But then there was a few goodbyes to dull the joy I held in my heart.

Grandma held onto the sight of her little grandson until he could be seen no more. Grandfather played the male role all too well as he spotted her tears running down her face, "Ah here we go. Now stop it," he said.

I wanted to hug her.

Then I stepped into another couples moment.

"Is he military?" I asked standing behind them.

"The father turned and said "Yes, he is. Air Force."

The young man was going through security. He was fit and trim and struggling with the laces on his boots as he followed the rules of removing footwear.

"We actually have three sons in the Air Force," the man added.

I said, "Thank you. Thank you for your commitment."

There was silence.

I stood in the shadow of their goodbye moment.

"I promise I will see them in my prayers," I said.

He shook my hand. Mom nodded her head nervously.

I saw a sign that indicated that there was a "Meditation Room" nearby. I found it and entered the quiet sanctuary. It really would be great if we all made space for such a room in our homes.

Large artistic shaped windows and a few dimly lit lights softened by glass filters added to the peaceful ambiance meant to calm your thinking.

Someone had placed a daily quote desk calendar on the table. The date was a few days behind so I flipped through the pages to find the following:

Wednesday August 17th

"God has for you a light for every shadow. A Plan for every tomorrow. A Key for every problem and a Balm for every sorrow."

I stepped out of the shadow of worry leaving behind the grandchild of the woman and the soldier boy of the man.

I found peace in the shadow of remembering for "to be remembered is to live forever."


Bob Perks

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