96 – Shadows *

Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.

I like to walk on the beach. It is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Now is the time of day when buildings cast shadows upon the ground – the time leading toward sunset, dusk, and eventually the one large dark shadow of the night that isn’t a shadow.

It’s late afternoon, and I am heading east. I notice my shadow leading the way, so I watch my inseparable companion and think about its representation. Shadows are outstretched images – a game to those who try to catch it.

Shadows are those two-dimensional silhouettes hiding identity – those Imperfect and faint imitations formed by blocking rays of light. Seemingly a remnant of the original figure, shadows are obscurity blocking the unconscious side of a personality.

Shadows are a faint representation of something – also a box, a game, and a situation with doubt – casting doubt by tarnishing reputation through old sins. Long shadows cast a dark sense, such as death shadows and shadowy figures. Who knows what evil lurks?

Shadows become longer as time moves toward the setting sun. Eventually, the shadows of the night become a time when yellows, greens, blues, and reds all appear as shadowy gray.

When I think of shadows, I cannot forget that they are the star of an eclipse – a phenomenon of a slowly moving shadow in the heavens giving us a unique time of obscurity. A total solar eclipse displays a perfect umbra at the perfect time at a perfect place – a time when, just for a short moment, day becomes night.

I recall one year here at the beach – a night of a lunar eclipse. I awakened very early and noticed a bright light coming through the window in the next room. I got up and watched the changing shadow of a lunar eclipse for several hours as the moon slowly lowered in the sky. Five minutes after watching the shadowy moon disappear below the western horizon, I went onto the balcony to watch the sunrise over the eastern horizon – a new sun casting long shadows to the west.

Without light, there are no shadows. No wonder we embrace the light of day. The shadows of a day change what we see at various locations, such as the Grand Canyon – changing the visual of something standing still. I wonder, how much of Earth’s beauty is due to shadows?

During a hot, sunny day, we embrace the presence of a shadow as we retreat to shade for a respite – a place to cool down, have a drink, rest, sit to dream, or even have a nap.

I marvel at how visual artists as painters and photographers work with shadows to enhance a painting or photograph. No wonder Michaelangelo said, “The true work of art is but a shadow of divine perfections.”

Some of us act as a shadow when we follow someone to learn in their footsteps, But the follower cannot be afraid of their own shadow because there will be a time they must step out of the mentor’s shadow to be themselves.

As our time marches toward the Valley of the Shadow of Death, we become a shadow of who we were. Yet, that long shadow of our life positively touched many. It is in that manner that our shadow remains in this world by living through others. That is the shadow’s influence.

Some shadows we cannot see, but we feel its presence. The shadow of a deep friendship or love that we miss – one separated by distance and time – maybe even as grief in their passing. Whereas some speak of the shadow of the wind, but I’m unsure of that. However, I realize only the shadow knows.

Best friends are not shadows because they don’t change with the sun, then disappear after sunset. Best friends are not a sense of gloom, mystery, and unhappiness because they are always present no matter the time of day – no matter the day – no matter the week – no matter the month – simply no matter the time.

Sad and monotonous, shadows are playful in the light – coming and going – staying close to us like a coward or one who is frightened – maybe it is afraid of itself. But, the possibility exists that the shadow is watching over us as a protective guardian. However, to others, the shadow is a ghost.

There are several sandpipers ahead of me. I change my focus from the bird to its shadow – watching the shadow change relative to its position to the sun. Oh no – the shadow is alive! The shadow is alive because I saw the shadow poop!

After a long day or night, many of us get shadows below our eyes while men add a shadow of facial hair. We forget that a hiding shadow slowly returns with the rising sun of a new day. The long, lumbering shadow is now ready to leap into a new day.

The shadows on the beach are longer now than when I started. People will soon gather here to watch the sunset – a time when shadows begin fading away. But now is the time for me and my shadow to return inside. But I will return tomorrow because I like walking on the beach, which is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

See what other bloggers have posted about shadows

Next Post: Hidden – Wednesday 8th December @ 1 AM (Eastern US)

112 thoughts on “96 – Shadows *”

  1. Oh, I have missed some posts….they disappeared into the shadows of time…because I was busy and missed not only your posts but others, too. So now I come out of those shadows to reveal that I had a good giggle when I read about the sandpiper’s shadow that pooped…LOL!! (Of course the poop had a shadow too, right?)

    I remember as a youngster we would take a sheet and play shadow games, with our arms and hands to make figures for others to laugh at or be scared of. Or making bunnies and other critters with the shadow play too. That game was a classic at camp-outs.

    Sometimes I find it much easier to take pictures when the shadows are absent, or diminished as on a cloudy day…

    Enjoy your sunset!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ingrid,
      Glad you enjoyed this shadowy tribute and thanks for sharing your thoughts about how kids play with shadows. Oh the joy they bring. I can’t believe that I noticed the shadows of the sandpiper on the day I was thinking about shadows. Then again, the thoughts triggered me to watch – and YES – I witnessed the poop shadows. Needless to say, I had to laugh and use this in the essay.


  2. Interesting musings, Frank, and I’m not sure that I followed them, but I was heart and soul into the video. What a talented, supple young lady! The schedule at the bottom doesn’t seem quite right, but that doesn’t matter- just an observation. Have a good weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jo,
      Glad that you enjoyed these shadowy musings, plus the closing video. Lindsey Stirling is wonderful – so if you enjoy her music, search for her on YouTube – and she does wonderful videos. I think I have her again in the future … then again, I’m not sure. THANKS for noticing the typo in the date for the next post. It is corrected – and it is for your morning next Wednesday.


      1. True… and that heavy cloud we carry around with us casts a dark shadow too… although I much prefer the sharp and vivid shadow that we give off with our bright and pleasant sides! 🌞

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Shadows…..one of the first things I learned when I took painting lessons many years ago – how important shadows were as they gave LIFE to the paintings. Shadows are cool spots on a hot day. They allow us to see depth…..they mimic us sometimes distorting our proportion but accompanying us on our journey wherever we go. Lindsey Stirling is a favorite of mine and her video is clever and beautiful as ALL of her work is.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pam,
      As a nonpainter, I don’t directly understand the importance of shadows – but once pointed out – oh wow – sure provides much more depth to the painting. The artist must have a way of foreseeing its importance. That’s remarkable! Cheers to a Lindset Stirling fan!


  4. Lovely walk as always, Frank, and I very much enjoyed your musings on shadows. When I go out for walks in warm and warm-ish weather, I play a game of “stick, shadow, or snake?” because you never know until the shadow moves that it’s a snake. Most of the time reality shows it’s not a snake (nothing to fear). 🙂


  5. I like my shadow, Frank, and I like your take on shadows. We are into the part of the year when we switch from seeking the shadows in out walks to seeking the sun for warmth. I hope you continue to enjoy your walks.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love Robin’s photos and they are perfect to go with your reflections on shadows. As a photographer, I love to use shadows in varying ways, to make things interesting.
    Lindsey Stirling’s video is so much fun and very à propos for this one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dale,
      Glad you enjoyed Robin’s photos … and you also know what a nice lady she is. I’m one who enjoys Lindsay’s music and videos. I recall I had a difficult time making the final decision for this walk, but her video was just too interesting to pass – well, at least to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Cincy

    Great thoughts, great quote and a great song to ride us out on.

    The shadow world is a world unto itself, and it speaks a different language. Which is why we are so drawn to it. When I was a boy, I remember thinking that our shadows were the other part of us, with lives all their own.

    Liked by 2 people

          1. The Fins needs a RB . . been saying it for two years. Tua is their QB AND their de facto running game.

            As for the Bengals, in Joe I trust so they’ll be just fine.

            And good for Luke Fickell, staying in Cincy. It’s sweeter, making the CFP where he is. First time ever? Wow.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. No, we traded out of another one. Now our pick will probably be later first round- our original pick. And yanno, that’s fine. It’s time for these picks we’ve been spending over the last several to show up. As for last year’s picks, Waddle has a chance to break the rookie record for reception and Phillips the linebacker broke the team record for sacks by a rookie. Plus, Tua’s completion percentage is nuts, close to 80 in the last three games and that’s with half a dozen drops in the last game!

                Here’s to guys who know they’ve got a good thing going. Think about it. Luke could have had his choice of college gigs a couple months ago. But how long they gonna give him in LSU? Even if they win? Ed O is gone, two years removed from a title.

                Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m glad I scanned the comments as I somehow missed whose photos you were featuring this week. Robin, good job! I also love photographing shadows. Thinking of shadows in other contexts as you do, I think of five o’clock shadow, an M.M. Kaye book about India, “Shadow of the Moon”, the old vampire soap opera “Dark Shadows”, and the fact that life events can cast shadows over people’s live for many years. Thanks for the musings and Robin’s photos. Enjoy the weekend.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet.
      I always enjoy when a past collaborator comments on the photos of the current collaborator. Thank you … and I’m sure Robin appreciates this. I’ve learned that artists (especially in paint and photos) incorporate shadows in various ways – so as I non-artist, I applaud what you and others do! Meanwhile, yes – shadows do portray many contexts, which is what I tried to capture – and thanks for sharing yours! 🙂


  9. What a stunning post, Frank. Shadows are fascinating and create enhanced visuals for photographers and artists, and those of us that are intrigued by them. I remember as a child I worried I lost my shadow when I couldn’t see it and my mom explained and even demonstrated how shadows work – silly childhood memories that were always amusing.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. beautifully expressed Frank:
    “Some shadows we cannot see, but we feel its presence. The shadow of a deep friendship or love that we miss – one separated by distance and time – maybe even as grief in their passing. ”
    light is so much more appreciated by shadows!💖

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hardly ever. I’m not one for overly writing writing. Shadows are the stuff of building moods through imagery. I do mostly dialog and present tense stuff so shadows don’t tend to find there way into my stories. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Frank!
    GreT topic and once again you combine science, lit, affect, and personal tidbits in your beach walk!
    And liked this so much
    “Without light, there are no shadows. No wonder we embrace the light of day. ”

    Also – ending with Lindsey sterling was a huge treat! She is quite a unique artist and will always remind me of Mabel kwong

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yvette,
      Glad you enjoyed the walk and the music. On many walks, my science background seems to come out. Then again, each of us thinks in our own personal realm. Lindsey Stirling is a wonderful musician and entertainer. In general, her music is livelier than what I seek for these walks because I prefer calm. However, I couldn’t resist this one! Thanks for walking along and sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. You made me think of one of my favorite childhood poems by Robert Louis Stevenson, “My Shadow.”
    *I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
    And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
    He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
    And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.*
    And it goes on for three more verses. Shadows fascinated me as a child and now I wonder what birds and other animals might make of the ones they see.
    Robin’s photos are stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What a thoughtful reflection on shadows, Frank. I came from Yvette’s blog; see mentioned this post to me, thinking I’d be interested. This line of yours stuck out at me, ‘Some shadows we cannot see, but we feel its presence.’ Shadows are always there, shadows from our past and present, within and around us. Some events will force us to confront our shadows, or dance with them.

    Also I love that you ended with Lindsey Stirling. I’m a massive fan of hers and have been to her concerts in Australia and she is a great performer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mabel,
      Welcome first-time beach walker on the sands of my personal beach. What a thoughtful comment and thanks for letting me know you came from Yvette’s. She’s a good person.

      Also, thanks for not only letting me know your favorite line, but for also expanding upon it. I appreciate your conclusion: Some events will force us to confront our shadows, or dance with them. Brilliant.

      I love the fact that you’ve taken in a full experience here for a first-time visitor. I always end the walk with a video, so thanks for watching it. I take a lot of time to select them, so I smile when someone enjoys them. Lindsey Stirling is a wonderful performer! Are you in Australia?


      1. Appreciate your warm welcome, Frank. It is a pleasure to be here. There will be ups and downs in our lives, shadows all round and often we will meet people along the way who will guide us.

        Yes, I am in Australia, Melbourne to be precise. A very different part of the world from where you are 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I used to love watching Dallas’s shadow as we took our walks … and I’m equally enamored of watching Monkey’s. There’s just something so doggone cute about the way a shadow Sheltie’s ears flop up and down when they prance along! Once again, Frank, you’ve brought up all sorts of meanings for ‘shadows’ that are going to require another reading if I want to embrace them all — thanks for an interesting post.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Shadows are those two-dimensional silhouettes hiding identity – I loved this description. I also enjoyed reading about your early morning/might when you watched the moon go down from your window and then headed to the balcony to watch the sunrise – so amazing! I love your reference to our loved ones as our shadows, also our friendships. A very rich post like usual Frank!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. PD,
      Shadows are rich, aren’t they? As I’ve stated many times before, amazing what the mind can conjure up when given enough time and focus. As you well know, concentration isn’t always easy! I’ll never forget that lunar eclipse-sunrise combination. If I recall, the eclipse was about 85% – so pretty good. Then I looked at the clock, and OMG – sunrise! Simply an amazing sequence of events.

      Liked by 1 person

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