Sunlight and Shadows

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Birds swoop and dive outside my upstairs study window.  The top of a pale pink flowering plum sways in the chilly breeze. Spring is here, but barely.  Other birds chirp merry tunes.  Their message and meaning is lost to me.

I gather up my afternoon-slump self and walk to the store.  I notice the leaves sprouting on lilac bush next to our mailbox. The cherry trees at the library are at their Truffula best. The wind chills me and I walk briskly, swinging my arms.  Hey, Jane Fonda knew something after all.  “Don’t forget to breathe!”  I can hear her now.

I run into a couple of writer friends.  This is one of the many perks of a small town life. We laugh and chat outside the store in the shifting sun and shadows.  They have frosting for a birthday cake. One of their brothers has a milestone birthday to celebrate. I need to buy treats for our Friday night pizza and movie.  Time moves along and I must be on my way.

I pick up my purchases and head out the door.  As I walk back home, the sun still shines.  On me.  My path for the next 20 yards or so is bright.  Then, the people ahead of me getting out of a red sedan stand in shadow.

I stop for a moment.  Isn’t this the way of life?  At times, we can see clearly where we need to go and how to get there.  Our path lies straight and sure.  Other times, we flounder around, like blind mice in a pitch-black basement.  We feel trapped and can find no way out, no forward projection.  We cry out for direction.

Despite the shadows, I can see my way home. It’s daytime. I know the way. I start walking again. I think sometimes we know the way, too, but don’t want to admit it.  We know we need to eat less to lose weight; but we’d rather somebody told us exactly how much less.  We know we should spend less and stay within our budget.  Yet…those pants called to us!  We had to have them.  We don’t like the answers (too restrictive), so we keep asking questions. We want to push the boundary.  How close can we get to the edge? And what’s on the other side, anyway? We hope the answer will change, this time.

Trust me.  It won’t.  Follow the straight path.  It leads home.

Proverbs 4:26 – Mark out a straight path for your feet; then stick to the path and stay safe.


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