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 A Reflection

by Kate Chopin

Some people are born with a vital and responsive energy. It
not only enables them to keep abreast of the times; it qualifies
them to furnish in their own personality a good bit of the motive
power to the mad pace. They are fortunate beings. They do not
need to apprehend the significance of things. They do not grow
weary nor miss step, nor do they fall out of rank and sink by the
wayside to be left contemplating the moving procession.
Ah! that moving procession that has left me by the road-side!
Its fantastic colors are more brilliant and beautiful than the sun
on the undulating waters. What matter if souls and bodies are
failing beneath the feet of the ever-pressing multitude! It moves
with the majestic rhythm of the spheres. Its discordant clashes
sweep upward in one harmonious tone that blends with the music of
other worlds--to complete God's orchestra.
It is greater than the stars--that moving procession of human
energy; greater than the palpitating earth and the things growing
thereon. Oh! I could weep at being left by the wayside; left with
the grass and the clouds and a few dumb animals. True, I feel at
home in the society of these symbols of life's immutability.
In the procession I should feel the crushing feet,
the clashing discords, the ruthless hands and stifling breath.
I could not hear the rhythm of the march.
Salve! ye dumb hearts. Let us be still and wait by the roadside.
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