by Reverend Wayne Walder
When we stand in the light, a shadow is created. Shadows are a result of our presence; we cannot avoid them. Our shadows touch our feet in the setting sun’s light. They are with us when the light is strong, and even when it is weak.
Often people are frightened by their shadow. Maybe it is because they fear their own darkness; we all fear it sometimes. When you hear how quickly people can become angry and hurt others, it is easy to fear this kind of shadow.
But shadows are not only to be feared. The moon moves through its phases of light and shadow. When the moon is full, it is beautiful and bright. Then through the fortnight it changes as shadows gradually create a crescent.
Shadows can create beauty and provide safety. It is in shadows where we hide when we no longer want to face the world. We can be safe in the dark. Sometimes we go to the shadows to heal and rest.
Shadows provide depth; they provide beauty and movement. Beauty and movement are often not visible without the contrast, without their shadow. Some of the internet videos on this month’s internet resource post beautifully use shadow to dramatize simple aspects of our lives.
Our shadow might have something to do with our wholeness, just as the earth’s shadow reveals the whole moon. There are many heroes in literature who become whole only when they seek and reunite with disowned parts of their personality, their shadow. Ursula Le Guin’s hero, Ged, in her Earthsea series, is a wonderful example of how dis-owned parts of our personality need to be reclaimed to give us power and wholeness.
On a moonlight-filled night, take a walk in a nearby park. As you see the moon, look over your shoulder and see the shadow you create. It never leaves your presence. It is shaped like you but without the details.
What is in the dark of your shadow?