Silly Shadows

How often have we seen a grown-up jumping in a muddy puddle? Or occupied following a trail of ants? Or wondering endlessly as rainbow arches in the sky? Hardly. Perhaps if they are parents or carers, out with the kids.

But, the sight of children amusing themselves with the apparent trivialities of everyday life is most common. They are the little people who see magic in a caterpillar turning into a butterfly and are charmed by a kitten chasing its tail. They are naturally curious and observant, with an ability to delight themselves with seemingly simple things. No wonder, my kids are so captivated by the sleight of light, the shadows.

On our little journeys to their school, shops and playground, they display tricks with their shadows – hopping, stomping and kicking them on the way. It’s a whole world of wonderment beneath their feet!

My little boys, five and nearly three, love to observe the play of changing shapes and often play games with them. They find them spooky, funny and curious, depending on what they have managed to conjure. My older one calls them ‘silly shadows’ and tries to form animals, alphabets and numbers with them. For the younger one, it’s mostly about chasing them away!

Mostly, I have tried to contain their distraction but sometimes, found their innocent excitement infectious. Admittedly, I have been party to ‘shadow chasing’ and ‘shadow stretching’ games that made for some great memories. Looking back, I think the silliness of little pleasures is a golden asset. It not only creates precious memories but is also a reminder of how unpretentious and carefree small joys can be.

So, here is to the vivid imagination of little kids running free, lending itself to the madness and craziness of the changing form of ‘silly’ shadows.

Silly Shadows

A little silly, a lot funny, are the dark pictures of shadows
Often like a mystery, and sometimes spooky, sweeping the streets and the meadows
Glued to the shoes, how puzzling at they fall, sometimes in front and sometimes back
A giant as I go, a minion as I come, transforming but always black!

The blades of grass look like mini trees, if you could in the evening see
And curly clouds float on the ground, swaying past the gaps in a morning tree
A twig is a chair, a ‘4’ and a ‘C’. I ask my mum how that can be?
“This broken twig, now a ‘1’ and an ‘L’, Look, it’s the blocked light you cannot see.”

I can be a cross, a flower and a monster, a superhero preparing to fly
A rocket, a spider, and alphabets and numbers, even a dinosaur if I try
‘Catch the shadow’ is the game we play, Dad, mummy, little brother and me
And front and back, if we line up on a side, it’s only my dad’s shadow we can see!

My shadow changes as I move, Sometimes a stick, sometimes a dot
It stays in place as the river flows – shaky, yet steady, even when I talk
The sandy park is a magical place, where shadows dance over dusty folds
Dizzy and wobbly as we play around, like funny mirrors beneath our soles

So much fun we have together- hopping, jumping, stomping on our way
To school and back and the shops on the side, just the two of us at play
When you can’t see me in the dark, “Don’t worry, It’s just a little break”, I say
For as long as you copy what I do, we can still meet another day!

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