I have no shadow

It has been weeks since I saw my shadow. Did I fire him in a fit of pique or is it just this endless Tolkien gray. Or maybe the Martha Stewart beige.

Though truthfully I may have seen my shadow on that one sunny morning the other day but I was so involved in the feeling the sun that I forgot to look for him.

Why am I referring to my shadow as he when I am a she?kunekune Tima

I was sitting next to Sheila yesterday afternoon as she napped in her enormous bed. She grunts when I sit down, then grunts again when I lean on her as though she were an enormous firm slightly prickly cushion. She went to sleep. I marveled at her breathing for a while,  her eyes closed and her breathing slow.  She uses all the space in her lungs when she is resting, her breaths deep and long and strong. I checked the messages on my phone for a while – my legs stretched out, boots crossed at the ankles. Sitting in that dry warm space with my breathing cushion behind me. Later I slid down further cuddling into my pig and wondered about things, my fork leaning on the barn wall untended. The dogs chose corners. Tia the heifer calf, perky and well again came in  to the barn at one point and observed us for a while, chewing her cud.

Have you ever wondered why humans have eyebrows. I mean all animals have eyelashes but very few have eyebrows. In fact I can’t think of any eyebrowed animals off hand. Boo has a couple of hairs sticking straight out above his eyes,  where his designer thought about eyebrows, I guess.  dog and pig

I look forward to growing old –  I am going to pencil in bold surprised  eyebrows and everyone will look at me wondering what I KNOW. Because with that look of secretive surprise obviously I must know something.

We all have eyebrows and eyelashes.  Even the people we do not know. The strangers that might frighten us. All of us, unless they were burned off in a fireworks accident of course. (We are talking about my little brother who is not so little anymore). OR here is the other time he burned his eyebrows completely off, with no help from his big sister.aaj

Though looking back that far in the archives I want to rewrite many of the old pages.  But that would be cheating.

Anyway – just some light reading – to get us through another sepia day.

The weather today will seek a high of 38f/3C at the moment it is 33f.  The wind will be the nor’west. I will fill up all the big heated water barrels today because we will  sink below freezing for a few days after this, rendering the hoses useless.

Have a lovely day.

love celi

68 Comments on “I have no shadow

  1. My dog has eyebrows. I will send you a photo. He is naughty and very affectionate. I didn’t enjoy reading Tolkien so I think I would not like your clouds/sky right now. I love the idea of sitting against a deeply breathing (yogic) Sheila. I have often noticed that if only I would breathe like my dog, when he settles to sleep, I would be a happy person. All the way in. All the way out.

  2. [J] Now I know why I so want a pig! I may have to make do with leaning back into the wooliness of one our sheep – one of the older, wiser and more patient ewes or an ram with nothing much to occupy him outside that all-important season of the year. It’s have to be during a sunny dry spell, though, otherwise I’d get soggy lying on the ground. Or I need to get on and build that all-purpose shed, to be used for over-wintering some of the sheep, or lambing, or lying back, leaning into the wooliness of one of the older, wiser and more patient sheep, looking out across the Sound of Eriskay to the hills and glens of South Uist, and letting my thoughts free with the scudding clouds. Thanks Celi!

    • I had a big old sheep whose name was Mama – she hated everyone but me – she always had quads. She was a big wooly one. That shed sounds like a good idea though I bet your sheep are a hardy lot.

  3. My beagles have whisker like things above their eyes – so I guess that would be eyebrows. Mom plucked hers to a point she had none by age 30 – so she always penciled hers in. And when I wanted my ‘shaped’ she refused to thin mine out – and thank goodness because to this day I still have very nice natural brows. No pencil required!

    And again – I never thought I would say this – but relaxing with a big beautiful pig named Sheila sounds like a piece of heaven.

    • When i was a kid a friend of mine plucked half an eyebrow right out by mistake – at lunchtime – at school. We had to pluck the rest out and she drew her eyebrows in for the longest time – she is an Opera Singer now.

  4. Many years ago, my beloved elderly uncle in his nineties, God rest his soul, was living in assisted living, and years after his beloved wife Dottie died, began “dating” another elderly woman in the facility. We all thought he’d gone off his nut, as we adored Aunt Dottie, a woman always “well put together,” as they say. He brought this new woman to visit us in his big Cadillac (she was very nice.) I and my sisters were accepting of this arrangement, as it was none of our business, whatever floats your boat, etc, but still we marveled at her bright blue painted on eyebrows. “Dottie must be spinning in her grave,” we muttered. Maybe she was only, as you say, being bright and bold, and maybe she “knew something!” We’ll never know. But I have always wondered why blue?

    • Blue! She had probably worn it all her adult life. Plus as you get older you do not see colours as being as bright as they were. The colours will fade a bit in our eyes and maybe we will over compersate.c

  5. It is something special to bond with an animal, to touch, speak with, and sit quiety, enjoying the moment. I shall cherish, my entire life, that I have laid with deer when they were young, and walked with them in the woods, sitting with them while they rested, chewing their cud. We could all do with “ruminating” while in nature… or with your favorite pig. Sheila is special indeed.
    Interesting about eyebrows. Deer have the slightest eyebrows when they are little, and they lose them as they mature. They develop the most lovely eye “circles” – lighter hair around the eyes as they grow their winter coats.. Eye “dots” above the eye on many mammals (to appear like an eye higher up) are a great camouflage to protect the actual eye. I wonder why humans have them?

  6. So very true, all humans do have eyelashes and brows…just one of many things that make us so alike rather than looking at the very few things that might make us different… I have watched the steady decline of my brows for quite a few years now. It started from the already thin outer corners (I over-plucked long ago) and the middle onward is now clearly thinning. I have a hard time matching the pencil color to what is left, as what is left is not really the same as the color of the hair on my head 😉

  7. I so love the stories of your life Celi, and how you write them. I am waiting patiently for your memoir. No rush, as I know you are busy with life, but,
    maybe in time, sometime in the future. XO

  8. I too was wondering why you referred to your shadow as he? 🙂 Laura

  9. I loved the stories about your little brother, made me laugh. Thanks 😀

  10. We have a curly coated golden retriever. Her eyebrows were so curly when she was a puppy that the vet giggled in delight every time we made a visit. It happened so often that I was beginning to become sensitive about our sweet dog. Isn’t it funny that we humans are worried about what other humans think of our pets?

  11. A sepia day! Thought you might like that as a description versus a grey day

    Remember the choice is yours…. Be happy!


  12. I’m pretty sure our dogs, all nine of them, have eyebrows. But eyebrows or no eyebrows once again you paint, both in words and pictures, a delightful picture of life on the farm.

  13. Shadows are like that, incorrigibly petulant; unless it’s a sunny day they tend to hide under the bed and stay there. I had a dog once with what I perceived as eye brows, not specific hairs but a brow that protruded over the eyes and was of a lighter colour than the rest of his hair.
    After a day of light snow yesterday, the first we’ve had since before Christmas, the sun is shining again this morning and the temperature will rise to plus 2c before it drops below freezing again until at least the weekend. Hope you have a great day! ~ Mame 🙂

  14. What lovely soothing thoughts, miss c. I was going to say pensions, with the implications of pensive, but realized those are either small rooming houses, or financial retirement benefits and now I am thinking about how those words all intertwine.

  15. I had to go back and read the stories of your little brother T. He was very lucky indeed to avoid being seriously burned both times. I once burned myself on a sparkler and now have a more healthy respect. I loved the story of all of you doing your morning dance in the kitchen. I imagine resting on Sheila while she sleeps is a good place to have a good think. As for those clouds, I don’t think we are done with them yet. We have another, less severe winter storm coming with high winds today coming in front of it. Please let the groundhog not see his shadow tomorrow either. No shadow, early spring. I think?

  16. I am a huge Tolkien fan…a lover of Billbo Baggins. But to live in a world of sepia is now fun or exciting or wonderfilled. Every!
    I’m very glad your little calf is well again!

  17. I guess our eyebrows separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom. Two my dogs are Keeshond. They have spectacles, which are nothing more than darker hair that circles their eyes and then stretches back toward their ears giving the appearance that they are in fact wearing spectacles 🙂 We all need something unique to separate us from the rest I suppose. It makes the world more interesting and obviously allows us to creatively wonder why things are the way they are.

  18. Found a new poem today. I’m sending it on. It will help the world relax. Here’s how it starts:


    I was sitting next to Sheila yesterday
    as she napped in her enormous bed.
    She grunts when I sit down,
    grunts again when I lean on her,
    –enormous firm slightly prickly cushion.

  19. My Dobe Sammy had eyebrows–a black face with brown brows–and a little rat terrier I take care of named Lloyd has the same face and eyebrows. Alas, mine are headed for oblivion. Eyebrows give people character–I’ve always thought stunning the combination on a woman of dark dark eyebrows with blond, white or grey hair.

  20. Such interesting, deep thinking on a grey day! I was talking to my friend who, not long ago, moved back the New England from CA. I looked out the window and called out happily, “The sun is out”! And i mentioned to her that I bet she never heard that while living in sunny CA!! ; o )

  21. I wonder if we have eyebrows because, like chimpanzees, we have a complicated social life and having eyebrows helps us show, along with the rest of our face of course, if we’re happy, sad, angry, surprised etc. etc. But then again, dolphins don’t have eyebrows. I supposed because they have no hair but they communicate very well without eyebrows! ; o )

  22. “Tolkien gray”-very nice, though given your background, I would have expected “Tolkien grey” 🙂 I have not checked to see if this is correct, but my thought about why were given or have retained our eyebrows is because they function as natural sweatbands. On a hot day, if you squeegee your eyebrows with a finger, there is a lot of moisture there. Imagine if all that was allowed to flow down into one’s eyes. Thanks for the fun, thought-provoking post.

    • NEIL! Where have you been? And you are right about the spelling – i stared at the word this morning thinking about it and its spelling then drifted off onto some other thought. Writing at 5.30 am has its pitfalls. And thank you for the image of sqeegee eyebrows – I am sure I will never forget that! c

  23. I think your shadow is a he because the dogs are also he’s, and your constant shadows?
    I don’t have a big pig, and my big dog is afraid of me so won’t cuddle. But I have (not so) little Lumi, today 8 months old, and his new thing is to lie on my torso when I’ve stripped off my work gear but haven’t yet got into my comfy clothes. 10lb kitten on naked skin, doing a slow gentle knead with all four paws! Never had a cat that liked bare human skin, or one who clenched his back toenails in pleasure. It’s our little evening bonding time ritual, for now.

  24. Humans have eyebrows because we have no fur on our faces to stop sweat trickling into our eyes. Also, animals that lose heat by panting don’t need eyebrows. I lost most of my eyebrows because of chemo; they never grew back properly; there were bald patches . For years, I tried drawing them back in, as my face looks bald to me without them. Then I had them put back by a very clever cosmetic tattooist, who drew individual hairs. They’re fabulous, totally convincing, and I feel normal again. I think facial expressions are lacking without them. We humans use all our faces when we talk or emote, and the eyebrows add a subtext.

  25. Gotta admit i have enjoyed thinking deep thoughts in a hayloft, but minus the giant pigcushion. Sheila is quite the pig! Missing your shadow made me think Peter Pan – and how you could be Tink, since you are constantly in motion! (As long as you don’t begin hearing the ticking croc clock or that villainous Captain Hook voice screaming “Smead’!!”) So happy Tia has bounced back, too– Hoping for no Punxatawney Phil shadow tomorrow 😄

  26. Celi, I wrote this the other day at the end of a long line of comments, and you didn’t have time to get to it… but I would like you to know that these were my thoughts again today as I read about you nestled into Sheila’s warm back.

    I love reading about the attention to detail that you put into every aspect of the farm and caring for the animals… it is inspiring and satisfying …reading your blog is reading about a life well -lived, and it’s very beautiful and very precious…love, valerie

  27. We’ve relished a couple of mild days with the brightest blue skies – but now back to fog.
    Laughed over the eyebrows when aging make you look wise and informed HA HA. Not me – if my thin paling ones are overlooked – I’ll make them wonder if I’m a space alien HAHA

  28. Pingback: I have no shadow | A Small Country Living in the Outer Hebrides

  29. What a lovely text! How nice to find you!
    I too refer to my shadow as ‘him’. Also, all animals. Even my own (proven female) dog. I have no idea why this is.

      • I’ve actually never thought much about this before. I could’ve imagined that I do it because my first language is Swedish, in which the word for ‘one’ or ‘they’ when used about a person is the same as the word for ‘man’. But you’re not Swedish, are you? So it must have another reason.
        Maybe it could have something to do with the fact that I had very little contact with women growing up? This was really interesting to think more about!

Welcome to the Lounge of Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: