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The Shadows


On a crisp autumn day in 2011, as the sun dipped below the horizon, casting long shadows across the neighborhood, I faced an unexpected and rather bizarre birthday surprise. I was greeted by the sight of a black dog, unruly and uninvited, relieving itself on the flower pot in my kitchen.

As the dog wreaked havoc, stirring up a whirlwind of stress and frustration, I teetered on the edge of panic. In that moment of desperate need, instinctively, I called out for my mother, seeking solace and support.

But it wasn't my mother who came to my aid. Instead, it was as if my widow took on a life of its own, manifesting before me in a tangible form. It stood tall and robust, offering me an unexpected source of strength and resolve. With newfound courage coursing through my veins, I found the inner fortitude to confront the chaos before me, reigning in the mischievous canine and restoring order to my once tranquil abode.

This peculiar incident, however, was not the first time I had encountered the inexplicable. Just six months prior, I had been plagued by a vivid and unsettling dream in which an unseen force relentlessly sought to breach the sanctity of my bedroom door. Though I had brushed it off as mere figments of my imagination, little did I know that this dream would foreshadow the strange events tet to unfold.

Shortly after these incidents, I found myself wandering through the dense woods, seeking solace amidst the tranquility of nature. Yet, to my astonishment, I stumbled upon the silhouette of a man, his form obscured by the dappled shadows cast by the towering trees. And there, amidst a swarm of buzzing bees, he stood, an enigmatic figure whose presence, although loving, panicked me.

Despite the primal urge to flee, I remained rooted to the spot, and at that moment, I realized that fear was merely a construct of the mind, a shadow that could be conquered and overcome.

From that day forth, I no longer cowered in the face of shadows, nor did I shy away from the unknown. In confronting my fears, I discovered a strength within myself that I never knew existed: one that would guide me through the darkest days and lead me toward the light.

In the winter of 2016, on the brink of my departure to the sun-kissed shores of Puerta Vallarta, the shadows that had once followed me returned with persistence. It began innocuously enough, with subtle hints on my Instagram feed – dark silhouettes lurking at the edges of photographs with their colors, their presence ominous yet strangely alluring.

But their intrusion didn't end there. As I prepared for my journey, the shadows seemed to seep into my very surroundings, casting strange shapes upon the walls of my home and dancing silently in the corners of my vision. It was as though they were beckoning me, whispering secrets that only I could hear.

Yet, during the quiet hours of the night, their presence truly made itself known. As I drifted into the realm of dreams, I felt their touch upon my skin, a gentle tickle that stirred me from slumber. Despite the situation's absurdity, I found myself laughing, my unconscious mind embracing their playful antics even as my waking self remained acutely aware of their eerie presence.

In that surreal moment, I made a decision born of instinct and intuition. With a clarity that belied the absurdity of the situation, I beseeched the shadows to watch over my loved ones in my absence, to be their silent guardians should I never return from the depths of Mexico.

Deep within the recesses of my being, I knew that the journey ahead would be fraught with unknown challenges and dangers. Yet, even in the face of uncertainty, I found solace in the enigmatic companionship of the shadows, their silent vigil a testament to the bond that transcended the boundaries of understanding.

And so, with a heart heavy with both trepidation and anticipation, I embarked on my journey, knowing that the shadows would forever be my silent sentinels, standing watch over the ones I held dear.

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