shadows and the present moment
“Do not stand in the shadows.” Those are the words from a song that I cannot recall the title of.
Perhaps we stand in the shadows because we do not want to be seen or recognized.
Life is full of bright sunny days and positive experiences. As well, there are many dark times for us and painful experiences along the way. We often are in transition, in the shadows, not completely in the light or fully in the dark. Achieving a constructive resolution to one challenge or problem, we often find another obstacle(s) has been placed in our path. At times, it seems that we take one step back for every step forward. The process of growth in character, in understanding, in maturation, is difficult and painful.
I cannot stress over the appointment tomorrow with the doctor. The regrets of past grave mistakes and failures I cannot cling to nor obsess over. We, as humans, only can live in the present moment. If we want to be fully alive, and as free as we can be given the serious limitations of the human condition (specifically being a spirit soul, a consciousness, imprisoned in the frail flesh), we must be fully in the present moment as that is all that we have. As they say, the future is only an expectation, the past only a memory.
We only have the present moment, the ever renewing present moment. Even as death approaches, I will strive to be consciously, willfully, in the present moment. I do not wish to look back on my life at the end and recall that I wasted so much of it over worries about the future and regrets over the past. The present moment is precious even if we are in pain or feeling grief over loss.
Life is a process. We often forget that in western societies as we are so focused on short term results. The journey is more important than the destination. For it is the journey and the experiences along the way that can teach us so much if we are open in our minds and our hearts. Let us set realistic goals and work towards them, but remember not to grasp at life, not to expect a perfect life.
We can even learn to be more loving persons. That, dear friends, is something to think about, now, in this present moment. If by the end of our lives, we have truly become more loving, giving individuals, our lives will not have been in vain, nor without meaning. Let us start working on being more loving now, and not put it off. Let us embrace this present moment as we work to be more loving, and thus more fully alive. We shall make the effort to move out of the shadows, and towards the light of love, which is the spirit of God.
Here are some pictures of shadows. These contrasts between light and dark have always fascinated me, and likely always will. Shadows move across the pavement as the sun moves across the sky. Shadows flee the light, as sorrowful times are chased away by new joys.
The midday autumn sunlight is falling through large windows in these next 3 images.
A view now with greater depth and extension into the distance. A series of shadows alternating with sunlit areas.
Greatest depth and extension in this next view.
This is a view of my parents’ backyard, inland from (east of) the San Francisco Bay on Saturday, November 9. Shadows and contrasts on a partly sunny, partly cloudy day. This was taken inside their house and through one of the living room windows.
Thanks for reading.