When I was a little girl, my Dad would bundle a bunch of us up, the Friday nights there was Jay/Livermore rivalry games. From the oldest one who wanted to go, down to my two-year-old brother in the stroller, we’d pull on big coats and sometimes even mittens and hats, and leave early enough to walk. We’d take a shortcut through a patch of woods and as we got closer to the high school, we’d hear the band playing and our excitement would mount. It didn’t matter that half of us didn’t know anything about football, it was the time with Dad and the stimulation of rivalry that pumped us up.
I remember this fondly. My memory blooms with wistfulness, as I think back to when I was four, five, six… It seems so long ago. There was one night, I remember most clearly. We were walking home and it was late and quiet. The streets were almost completely dark, especially Pine Avenue, a long road with maybe two streetlights. I walked close to the stroller that night – feeling safe next to my tall Dad pushing the stroller. As we rounded the corner at Pine Avenue, we walked under one of the few streetlights, and I remember giggling with childlike glee.
“Look, Dad! Look!” I walked a few paces ahead of him. “I’m taller than you!”
My brother joined in, stepping ahead of me, “Now, look, Renee. I’m the tallest one.”
We laughed ridiculously at our shadows, till the light from the street lamp faded. How funny our legs looked, long and skinny as all get out. When we strode, they looked like fingers slowing tapping a surface.
Shadows. Yesterday I sat at my kitchen table, enjoying the silence and a cup of steaming coffee. I watched as someone walked down the street next to my house and I saw their shadow mirrored in the window of Northwest Physicians. I remembered my childhood delight and fascination with shadows. Playing with our shadows on Pine Avenue became a tradition when we walked home from football games. I loved shadows back then.
Twenty years later, why do I run from the shadows? What happened between the years? How did I lose the childlike rapture, the eyes to see the glory that can come even in darkness?
Knowing that the sun rises after night is comforting, but we must learn to look for the small glories, the deemed insignificances, the forgotten beauties in every moment, waiting to be discovered. He is in them.
It’s light that casts shadows in darkness, so I dare you: revel in your shadows. Dance. Let the fears unravel and embrace the shadows in your life. Shadows mean the Light has already come.