(Phantomimic,**–a blogger who writes essays, poetry, and fiction–provides this guest post. In it, Phanto describes how unique circumstances make an ordinary day a little more special. Please read, enjoy, and comment!)
I want to thank Sweepy Jean for the offer to post as a guest here. I chose the following true story, I hope you like it.
A few days ago I was busy working in my cubicle at my day job. I had been staring at the computer screen for two hours non-stop so I did something I often do. Still sitting down I stretched and looked up at the wall above my desk. To my surprise I saw something I had never seen before in the thousands of times I looked up at that wall over the ten plus years I have been working at that desk.
I saw shadows of leaves and branches. They were silently swaying up and down as if moved by a gentle breeze. I must have stared at them for a whole minute before it dawned on me that these shadows could not be the result of direct sunlight unless the sun was near the horizon. Not only was the time of day wrong for that (it was about 4 PM) but our work building is in a neighborhood surrounded by houses and trees: you can’t see the horizon.
I called my co-workers who, probably eager for a break themselves, flocked over to my cubicle to admire the shadows. One of them took pictures, including the photo shown above. We then went to the window to try to locate the source of the light for the shadows and we found it. A car some 200 feet away on the street had one of those reflecting silver sunshades covering the inside of the front window. The sun reflected off it at just the right angle and the light beam was intense enough for some leaves from a nearby tree to cast their shadows above my cubicle.
In my excitement I even went outside to the parking lot and covered the car’s window with my jacket. One of my co-workers gave me a thumb’s up sign from inside the building indicating that the shadows had disappeared. Thus we had correctly identified the source of the light (here I should probably clarify that we are scientists). When I returned to my cubicle, everyone had gone back to work but I sat down and stared at the peaceful swaying shadows of the leaves until the sun had moved on, leaving behind the usual bland white wall that normally greets my stare.
Then I pondered, what were the odds of that happening? That car with the right sunshade parked at the right place. The light of the sun reflecting off it at the correct angle and intensity, hitting the leaves being moved by the breeze in front of the window next to my cubicle. And last but not least, me being present and looking up at the right time.
Now comes the part where I end this with a deep metaphor-laden paragraph or two about the ephemeral, the improbable, and how we tend to overlook the simple things that bring joy to our lives and inspiration to our writing. However, everybody and their dog have already written something to that effect, so I will just finish with a short poem.
In the wear and tear of the daily grind
A series of implausible events
The dark shapes of leaves intrude
Into my labor regaling me
With pleasant images
That evoke light, and wind, and life
Reminding me, that I work to live
Not live to work
According to Phanto: “I am Phantomimic, the peculiar eclectic writer.” Phanto also says, “Life is dull without whimsy.”
© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2011