When the sun peeks through the January sky and illuminates the forest, the snow shadows present themselves.
Ahhh, what beautiful shadows exist upon the snow!
The darkened shadow of Things Which Exist gleams blue on the white carpeting of snow. The shadows tell stories. You could sit for one hundred years and never hear the end of the tales told by shadows.
Shadows speak the opposite language of trees and buildings and plants and people. They whisper what is never spoken aloud. They tell of things not seen. Things not heard. Things never imagined.
They hint of paths not chosen, paths not walked. They hint of everything not included overtly in the obvious.
Sometimes shadows and footprints dance together. Perhaps a squirrel scampers across snow, tiny feet barely imprinting the drifts. Perhaps a man or woman ambles between light and dark, one foot in shadow, the other in sunlight. Who can say which is better? The shadow simply teaches different lessons than the sun.
Oh yes, shadows sometimes teach prickly lessons. Sticky icky burdock lessons. Some people divide the world between darkness and light and frown mightily at shadows. Heck, I’m sure we’ve all frowned mightily at shadows during different afternoons of our lives. Maybe we’ve even cursed them. But usually the shadows simply end up revealing a depth in the light we never saw before.
Carl Jung introduced the term “the shadow” to explain everything in us that is repressed, denied,underdeveloped or unconscious. Much potential exists lurking in the shadow. Meeting with these unknown aspects of ourselves becomes a path on the journey of self-awareness.
While trees and humans may not even realize another part of ourselves projects unto the snow, we might wake some day from a dream and notice an underworld of latent possibility, more aspects of ourselves than we ever imagined.
Learning about the fullness of ourselves, dancing with it, may even open doors to creativity and adventure. You never know!
I hope many of you find the opportunity to learn from snow shadows this winter. If not, “normal” shadows will do. Notice the sidewalks, the roads, the lawns. Shadows abound.
Waiting for a willing listener. Waiting to share their secrets.