After this week’s amazing solar eclipse, I suppose it’s not odd that shadows should occupy space in my mind. I was out for my run this morning when I happened to notice my shadow out there in front of me.
As I trotted along, however, I began to feel as if I was chasing myself. There I was, right in front of me. Except my shadow seemed almost more me.
My pony tail flipped from side to side as I made my way. My shadow self looked happy and youthful and energized. Carefree. Playful. It was me out from under the layers of anxiety and constraints I tend to carry around with me all the time. Sort of an odd glimpse at the inner child in a way.
I began to think about how different I am when I’m running anyway. I notice all kinds of things with a sort of unabashed joy. I actually say out loud, “Hi, beautiful,” whenever I see a butterfly. I always wave to the cows that I see in the fields at the outermost reach of my run. I see the dew sparkling on the grasses. I notice how many shades of green there are in the foliage. I feel a kinship with two sandhill cranes, unperturbed by my passage nearby.
I notice all the symmetry around me. I notice all the asymmetry, too. I notice how humans have a strange tendency to screw metal identifying tags into concrete or poles or fences or any crazy place.
I hear the mocking jay. I smell the fresh cut grass. I hear thunder in the distance. I relish a run in the rain. I stop and look up for airplanes. I stop for turtles, too. I jump to avoid stepping on a lizard. Some things I see make me laugh out loud. Like the underwear that pops up on the sidewalk one day, which then travels over subsequent days to different locations.
I notice the array of thoughts that travel through my mind. I often have important insights when I am running. I notice what I notice. I always run up hills, however slight or steep.
So I suppose it’s not just that my shadow self is more me. I am more me when I’m running.
It’s easy for my shadow me to disappear when I get back from a run. All the worries and anxieties and the critical inner monitoring assume their places and usually manage to take charge. A little less than they used to, though.
That shadow me is really all good, though. I should let her out to play more often.
I stopped to take a pic of her, but, of course, it took all the motion and fun out of it. Nevertheless, it’s a sort of picture of me, of who I might be, if I just let me out to play.