Posted by carolom on June 23, 2016
I was walking along a path that is also bicycle track in a park on the edge of the city this morning and in spite of the school and heading to work traffic I suddenly experienced a sense of vulnerability. The trees and bushes obscured the path from the main road and my imagination created a scenario based on stories in the news.
My work in domestic violence shelters has created a heightened sense of awareness of the vulnerability of women although many of my friends will say they are alert to danger in some public places.
These thoughts were not my preferred rumination on a pleasant, brisk winters walk but as I began to refocus them, my own shadow caught my eye as its stretched out before me.
I was reminded of Robert Johnson’s illuminating book Owning your Own Shadow- Understanding the Dark side of the Psyche and what a pivotal moment it was when I read it many years ago.
I was so immersed in contemplating the shadow and observing my own thinking about how it plays out in people’s lives that I didn’t hear the footsteps behind me until a shadow unexpectedly imposed itself over my own, making me jump and turn around, eyes widened by a rush of adrenalin.
A woman’s voice said Oh, I ‘m sorry.I thought that might happen. Good thing you are not a karate person. And there standing in front of me were the sources of the shadow that crossed my path.Harley and Shanti. Two beautiful, friendly happy little souls who were walking without their lead and were so very excited to see a new friend on their walkway they had bounded up to me to say hello!
I explained to the woman that I had been thinking about shadows and domestic violence and had just taken a photo of my elongated shadow. She said Gee, it’s really long isn’t it?
It was obvious that these thoughts were a long way from her morning walk.
We parted ways at the traffic lights, Harley and Shanti now happily on their leads, wagging their tails and leaving me to ponder about the tale I had been wagging on the beautiful, sunny crisp winters morning walk, where between our three shadows, mine was most definitely the longest…