Thursday, July 30, 2009

Next Shade

(It's not a summer photo ... and that's shadow, rather than shade, but I find shadows interesting, too)

Phyllis and I, circumstances permitting, go for a walk every day.

We prefer walking outdoors, but if the weather is particularly disagreeable, we duck into a shopping mall, or its equivalent, and do our walking there. We've even done the building-connecting tunnels at Wright State University ... all a part of survival.

In the hottest part of summer, we adopt another strategy, which allows us to walk outdoors ... and survive.

We call this our "shade hike." We find some place with lots of trees ... and we're blessed with a lot of parks like that in this area ... then we go strolling from shade to shade.

These brief interludes of relative coolness make it possible for us to walk outdoors in the hot, sultry months ... and survive.
If we hear rumbles of thunder, it's back to the mall.

While we are darting ... relatively speaking ... from shade to shade, I often think about this poem, based on childhood memories ... as many of my poems are ... but also a metaphor for dealing with problems:


Once, walking to town,

I complained that it was

too hot, too dusty, far

too far, but Grandma,

who had walked it many

times before, simply

said, "We can make it

to next shade, then

we'll rest. Next shade,

rest," and it became

a game, the next shade

our refuge, drawing

us along like a magnet,

the trip getting easier.

I've thought of that

a lot of times when it

seemed the going had

become too demanding,

and I always found

next shade, some rest,

before pressing on,

her words still making

it easier for me.

© 1999

(originally published in Capper's)

And so it is. We find that "next shade" ... in words of comfort ... a pause ... a summoning of inner strength ... a moment in our own quiet cove ... respite ... before pressing on ... and on.

Today's word: survive

1 comment:

hannahthemaid said...

very nostalgic.
loved it.