Smokey Shadow

When we were kids, us siblings decided to sleep overnight in the huge haymow of the barn. Sleep in the hay! yea! (insert picture of actual barn)old barn

A big yard light gave off enough light through the top of the flopped open barn door to see enough, and enough dark to sleep. Maybe. The 12 foot wide barn door hung down on hinges attached to the lower header. It was big enough to climb up and sit on. One could view the whole farm yard from there. You can see the door in the picture between the two top windows.

  Rumors of cougar sightings didn’t daunt us at all. We were safe in the barn, or so we thought.

In the middle of the night we heard some very loud scratching on the side of the barn. No one moved. We quit breathing as the shadow of a monster cat walked across the back wall of the haymow. The shadow was 12 feet tall and his tail twitched slowly back and forth as if deciding what to do.

  I’ll speak for myself here as my siblings probably have various traumatic memories. Panic was my first temptation. A nano-second later my second thought was to blame my siblings for going along with the idea of sleeping in the middle of the haymow in  very confined sleeping bags. Cougar bait, that’s what we were.

My third thought was to turn around and look that cat in the eye. If we were going to be eaten, I wanted to look that cat in the eye. Well, um,  I kinda wanted to look that cat in the eye (with one eye?)

It was one of the barn cats on a leisurely stroll across the big door header highlighted by the yard light. It cast a huge scary shadow on the back wall. It was probably the same cat that had somehow gotten into the house (cats not allowed in house on the farm) and in the middle of the night had slowly walked down all the piano keys. That time I figured it was the death angel playing a hair raising music back drop for what he was about to do with one of us, probably me. (ya, haywire imagination here).

“Smokey” someone muttered

Now, as down through all of life, My siblings and I have faced our fears. There is always a fear, always scary shadows with more to come as we log in more time and experiences  in this life.

  I have learned and relearned to face the fear and quit looking at the shadow. 

The shadow was filled with a million imaginations while smokey strolled the doorway.

My siblings and I recently lost Mom, then Dad. Our parents looked cancer in the eye. They strolled, hobbled and passed through the valley of death. They both knew personally the Lord as their Shepherd. They both displayed a peace that passes all understanding to the rest of us. They both walked through the doorway of death into eternal light while we as siblings could only see the shadow.

Hey, we have scary shadows being cast everywhere. True peace is only found in Jesus Christ. In his words (which I have experienced in my short 64 years) kids memorial stone eml

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27   


The oft recited Psalm 23 was a favorite of both dad and mom.  (The valley of the shadow of death did not scare them)

They lived by Philippians 4:6-8  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things.…

Published by Gary Fultz

Outdoors Man, Hunter, Fisherman, Guide, Writer / Author, Photographer, Public Speaker, Musician, Song Writer, Story Teller, Follower Of Jesus. Love God and family and total strangers

32 thoughts on “Smokey Shadow

    1. Thanks. We are a fragile people aren’t we? Loss is always hard. The deeper the relationship, the deeper the loss…But Peace is real when one knows the author of life, faith and peace….but it’s still hard.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks G.W. I felt compelled to warn about shadow watching and unwarranted imaginations in contrast to a sure hope in Christ. How did you like my finger drawn cat? don’t answer that…not gifted there.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. A brother and family in quarantine but they are good. A niece was hospitalized and sent home. she and husband both recovering well from the virus and report to experiencing God’s peace (beyond understanding). God is moving in peoples lives, I suspect he will make our pain, gain, like only He can.
      I trust you and family'(s) are well also.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It really is strange, and hard. Like most people I thought I had more time. My wife lost her last parent just befor me. So we take turns leaning on one another. Being the adults…ya, another story.


      1. It’s a little different for us because I’ve lost both of mine, but my husband still has his despite being somewhat (ahem) older than me. So, I try to encourage him to soak up every minute!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Good advice. We had to travel a ways to see them so we treated each time as possibly the last for the last year. We agreed that saying ” Bye for now” was our way of saying good by but not forever as we would see them again in eternity. A good perspective for us and still is.


    1. Well Alan,It is the kind of instant feeling that you have left your body behind somehow. it kind of cured us from wanting to sleep in the hay mow again for awhile. That shadow experience always reminded me how much fear can seize us if we are only shadow watchers.

      Liked by 1 person

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