My friend and I rushed outside at breaktime during a particularly soul searching conference. Mostly I followed her outside. She loves the sun but lives where the sun is obscured most of the time by thick smog and clouds. Its so bad that most of the city of millions live unaware that they are surrounded by tall mountains!
We stood in the light and she exclaimed over her shadow with a bright smile on her face. I hadn’t really thought to be so excited by a shadow! She rarely saw hers. I hadn’t noticed whether I saw mine or not most days.
Yesterday I noticed bright sunlight pouring into our enclosed balcony outlining the junk that lives there. Sharp lines, clearly defined and contrasting struck me. I began to think that maybe I was too content to live in the gray of a shadowless existence. Neither light nor dark just cloudy in my daily life and conversations. Too afraid to be black or white. Just gray.
But the shadows! I hadn’t realized they hadn’t been around until I saw them. Weeks of clouds and smog gave way to bright skies and sunshine and I noticed the sharp shadows. I immediately thought of my friend spinning in the sun at our conference basking in the delight that she had a shadow. A clearly defined existence.
Fear. A theme in my life seems to be the root of my complacence. What will the sharp light define behind me? What will be etched out in black and white for all to see? Do I want to be exposed?
On those occasions when my kids are called names I like to tell them that if they know who they are it doesn’t have to matter what others call them. Words to live by myself. If I know who I am as a precious and well-loved daughter, it doesn’t matter what is exposed. It has already been exposed. I am seen already, loved already and paid for already.
Let the light come and cast a clear shadow, a well-defined existence.