“Every man casts a shadow; not his body only, but his imperfectly mingled spirit. This is his grief. Let him turn which way he will, it falls opposite to the sun; short at noon, long at eve. Did you never see it?” – Henry David Thoreau
It is an image unlike any living visage, stretching further, a distortion that discerns reality. This is the shadow. The position of light influences the distortion of it, happening without my conscious decision. My only control is where I place myself in reference to the light. What is the light that I stand in? Where will this light strike me? This determines the length and breadth of my darkened friend. If run from that light I find darkness with every step. When I face the light, my path lit with comforting revelation. it’s discouraging at first, to see my faults and missteps in the glaring brightness, but it’s comforting to find that at least I am dealing with reality. This reality is always harsh, but it provides facts that help me to face change.
It’s a difficult and unnerving venture into light’s reality. There are benefits though. I can see farther down my path to the repercussions of my actions. This brings hope. Hope allows me to take bolder steps into the light. It is not for me to know my faults and shrink back in fear, but to grapple my choices, both those that are made in the past and those being made at the moment, discerning them and learning.
Learning can happen without having to experience the actions contemplated. Watching my fellow companions walk in the light, or walking away, brings an illustration to my lessons. In either case, light is important. When walking away, the light shows the way back. When walking into it, it shows the way to stay in it. Come my shadow, let me watch you carefully, letting your blackened representation be a guide to the truth and bringing assurance of my direction.