A recent study demonstrated that light-emitting photons continue to emit light for up to twenty-eight days, AFTER, the photon had been removed. That is, the light the photon gave off when it was at a given point in space and time would still exist in that space and time even after the photon had moved on. They found the average degradation of that light was approximately twenty-eight days. Give this some real thought. Imagine as you move through your day that you are quite literally walking through light trails everywhere you go. Not discernible to your naked eye, but there, nonetheless. Look at these little girls running, dancing amongst cattail particles on a sunny day. They are not merely dancing in cattail dust, but dancing in light that is refracted off of every surface that autumn sun hits. And even after the photon hits and leaves, its light gift remains floating there for you to touch. The negative of this picture captures this idea for me, as each little girl appears to be leaving a light shadow.
Psychiatric and therapeutic circles spend a great deal of time discussing what Carl Jung referred to as our “shadow”. The side of us we don’t want to see or confront. Our ‘darker’ aspects. But what if the real story isn’t in our darker side, per se, but in our light shadow? What if, by confronting our darkness what we really find is a light trail we are leaving everywhere we go? What if the trail isn’t a dark shadow at all, but like those light-emiting photons we are leaving light wherever we go?
My favorite Thomas Merton quote goes:
“There is no way to tell people they are walking around shining like the sun.”
Hard to get people to believe, but I will tell you all the same. You are walking around shining like the sun and as in the photograph, you are leaving a light shadow everywhere you go. Embrace that today. Namaste