Day 43: 24 km’s
Today’s reflection: Without light, there can be no shadow…….without the shadow, there can be no light.
❤️ I set off today under unforgiving grey skies. Looking upwards, I search for a break in the clouds, some kind of sign that this colourless blanket will lift………..but it isnt looking good. I accept this reality completely, after all, it is the end of January, and this is normal -something that is to be expected. In fact, I am more than aware that the weather that I have been able to enjoy recently -all that glorious sunshine, all those endless blue skies, all that light- has been a special gift, something a little bit out of the ordinary, something that feels a little like having had a brilliant run of good luck at the poker table. Still, I walk and I feel like something is missing……..
The shadow…..my faithful companion.
She has walked with me all the way from Almeria. Born from my body, she is a product of sunlight and Earth, extending outwards from my feet, always walking the same steps, always just that little bit ahead. She is unavoidable. Indestructible. There are days that I feel sick to death of looking at her as I walk, I want her to bugger off and leave me alone, but the truth is that she is the only one I can turn to face in my solitude, the only one who really knows. She doesnt give a fuck about my “feelings”, she is really real like that…..she just accompanies me silently, wordlessly, showing me things that maybe I dont want to see, but that I need to see.
Walking like this, day after day after day, is many things all at once, but importantly, it is an act of shedding, allowing light to shine on the parts of ourselves that stay hidden. Christ! So much distraction in daily life, all day every day, always having to be “on”- it is a wonder any of us can actually think straight and keep things somehow together, much less maintain a sense of ourselves as coherent beings. The distraction pushes us to look away, to focus on darkness that masquerades as light. A lot of it is false, a game of smoke and mirrors, a game of ego. I want to walk in the light as much as I can. I want to see things as they are, if it is at all possible. However, a necessary part of this is also accepting the shadow that walks with me, just ahead, always ahead. Sometimes she’s not pretty, and mostly, she’s not perfect, but at least she is real.
Now, walking under flat grey skies, I notice her absence. I miss our conversations, and this is a revelation for me. A short while later, when the sun starts to melt through the clouds, I see her beginning to emerge again. At first, she is a faint outline, but as the sun gains strength, so does she, and it isnt long before she is all the way back, leading the way once again ❤️
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