The Mottled Path: Sunlight And Shadows

My kids and I found a beautiful dappled path in the forest the other day, and I kept stopping in my tracks because the patterns of shadow and light were so interesting. My kids of course wanted to keep going, as kids tend to do, so I took a few photos to revisit later. I know it’s not a new concept: the meaning and symbolism of shadow and sun, darkness and light, but I am repeatedly fascinated by the nuances within those opposites….so much like ourselves.

We don’t get to choose: in life, we get, and are made of, both shadow and light- and I believe we need both. In my own experience and from observing people, it seems to me that those who have never truly experienced “Dark Nights of the Soul” – true and utter despair, bleakness or terror- often do not seem to have a high capacity for radical compassion and empathy.

“Maybe whatever seems to be so, we should speak so from our souls, never afraid, “Light” when it comes, “Dark” when it goes away.” (William Stafford)

“The light of grace is always shining, it’s always pouring down, though it’s refracted and scattered and easy to miss, and so one way to pray is to look back on the moments of our day and recall when we saw the light breaking through, and when we didn’t, when we felt it being blocked or opposed. This is the practice of joy: remembering.”

(excerpt from “Light When It Comes” by Chris Anderson)

Love and empathy,


Photography: © Ora Et Decora 2017

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