Light and Shadow

August 08, 2014
Tatjana Montik

Today I tried to escape the Sun. So I walked to the forest near my house, where I am often renewed with energy, with freshness to my body and mind. Here, in the South Caucasus forests can be a special joy – full of aroma and incredible colors.  This is how I escape the midday heat of the Caucasian mid-summer.

Today in the forest, everything seemed as usual—except for an incredible play of shadow and light. How could I not have noticed it before?

I appeared to have arrived in paradise! Fascinated, I could walk no further so I stopped, wanting to enjoy the moment. A heavenly golden light fell from the sky like pure bliss, accented by thousands of beautiful patches of shadow. The y brought coolness and relief from the heat on this burning summer day.   The play of light and shadow carpeted the ground with many beautiful forms and shapes.

“Aren’t we humans also the result of the play of light and shadow?” I asked myself as I basked in this special moment.

On one day, we feel covered by light, maybe being even a little ‘enlightened’. On days like this, when things go smoothly we not only communicate easily with everyone around us  but we seem to radiate light and happiness and are ready to share this with others generously and effortlessly. We become like a stream in the mountains, and enjoying every moment of the wonderful flow.

On other days we may feel as if we are in the shade, the shadow, and we feel grief and heaviness. At those times it’s better that others not approach us at all, as we cannot be sure there won’t be an explosion of annoyance. Yet how often do we actually explode? How often do we ask ourselves in a state of a great irritation: How can she / he react to happiness and light when I am feeling dreadful? Indeed–do any of these questions help?

At times when we feel like light we meet people who are covered in shadows and we approach them without understanding why they can be so somber.  Other times, when we happen to be in a shadow, people who are flowing like a stream from the mountain irritate us and even make us angry.

Today, when I escaped into the forest, I stood and wondered about these questions.

One idea appeared clearly to me: why waste our energy feeling irritated and uncomfortable near others who are covered by a shadow or lightened by the sun? Why don’t we just consider this a play of light and shadow and enjoy it? Why don’t we learn to enjoy both of these states of mind, and carefully observe their beauty in ourselves and in others? What if we just accepted it as something natural?  Everything on Earth changes and flows and nothing is stable or lasts forever.

Imagine there was no shade on hot sunny days. Where would you escape to? How could we appreciate the coolness and the breath of fresh air found only in the shadow? What could we do, however, if we lived in constant darkness? How could we appreciate Light without the experience of Darkness?

Today, I wanted to escape the Sun. Yet once I managed to do so I appreciated something else–all our life is determined be a divine play of Light and Shadow.

We should try to be Light, but please let us not curse the Shadow!

Tbilisi, 8th August 2014