It startled me at first. There I was in my snowy backyard paradise when I saw the strangest yet most beautiful thing. It was so big it made me feel small, which was somewhat intimidating in a space I consider my own. But tonight the yard was not mine. It was the tree’s.
My favorite tree was casting the most dignified shadow across the majority of the yard. Once I got over my initial inner battle with something else ruling my space, I paused to appreciate the image before me. A clear sky shed it’s full moonlight on the yard, resulting in this statement of majesty that somehow remained mysterious.
It certainly put me in my place. And it got me to thinking about the shadows we cast in life. It starts with the light necessary to create such a thing. My light comes from the joy I find in people, places and things around me. It also comes from my heart. The combination of these internal and external stimuli create a unique balance of the light necessary for my shadow to appear.
Unfortunately that is where things can get complicated if we let them. By nature a shadow is larger than the object it reflects. While it is indeed magnificent, the tree in my backyard certainly isn’t actually as big as the entirety of the yard. But its shadow is.
And it can be startling at first. It can seem both strange and beautiful at the same time. But it makes a statement. I realized as I stood there basking in the glow of this shadow that I want to make a statement like this in my life.
“Everything we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see,” as Martin Luther King Jr. suggested.
I think I figured it out. I’ve been going about things all wrong. I don’t need to be so concerned with finding joy in the people, places and things around me. That will take care of itself. Instead I should focus on the shadow that joy of mine casts on the world around me.
It doesn’t matter that I weigh 20 pounds. Size doesn’t matter when it comes to shadows. Because our shadows can be as big as we want them to be.