Tuesday, February 2, 2010


It's Groundhog Day, the day that the little "woodchuck" is celebrated as a scientific genius! It becomes a meteorologist without benefit of a fancy degree or a multi-million dollar network (aside from Punxatawney Phil)! If the groundhog sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of Winter. It's my very uneducated guess that will be what happens. Ah, the simplicity of the groundhog with a very profound message!

On this auspicious day, I'd like to share a poem about "shadows" by Robert Louis Stevenson. Many years ago, my dad recited it to me "by heart." He said that it was the first poem he memorized in grammar school. I once thought the words were just a funny little rhyme, much like many might view the absurdity of Groundhog Day. Well, as an adult, I know better. Shadows have longevity. For those who take it seriously, the groundhog's ability to predict weather affects an entire planting season. Simple, yet far reaching! Enjoy the poem! Enjoy Groundhog Day! Then let your simple muse, the one without benefit of fancy editing, journal today about shadows. Here's one prompt..."What message does my shadow send?"

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.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow--
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an India-rubber ball,
And he sometimes goes so little that there's none of him at all.

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close behind me, he's a coward you can see;
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

Robert Louis Stevenson

(Photo by National Geographic)

1 comment:

Tipper said...

My mom used to recite that poem to me when I was little : )