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
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.