On these cold and clear nights, the moon can sometimes appear brighter as it reflects on the snow. When we stand in moonlight, a shadow is created. That moon-lit shadow touches our foot and extends beyond us.
Sometimes people are frightened by their shadow, or shadowy side. Maybe it is because we fear our own darkness, our psychological shadow. We fear it because we have all melted down, been unreasonable and blamed people we love or work with. We have all done things we are not proud of. We know something about the negative side of our shadow.
But shadows are not only to be feared. Shadows can create beauty and they can provide safety. We can hide in the shadows when we no longer want to face the world. Sometimes we go to the shadows in order to rest and heal.
Shadows provide depth, they provide beauty and movement. The details of life are often not visible without contrast.
It is like that with the moon. The moon moves through phases of light and shadow. When the moon is full, it is beautiful and bright. Then through the fortnight it changes, as shadows gradually create a crescent.
Owning our shadow, the negative parts and the good parts, helps us become whole. Owning our shadow also helps us realize we are not perfect and cannot expect others to be so.
It is like this in literature. Heroes become whole only when they seek and reunite with disowned parts of their personality — their shadow. From Harry Potter to Abraham, literature offers us great examples of how disowned parts of our personality need to be reclaimed to give us power and wholeness.
On a moonlight filled night, take a walk in a nearby park or on the beach. As you see the moon, look over your shoulder and see the shadow you create.
In the quiet of your own heart, remember the negative things you do. Hold them close so you can work with them. Let them be a conscious part of your wholeness so they do not slip out and hurt others. Then imagine the energy they might be able to offer, after being hidden for a long time.
Rev. Wayne Walder is the minister of the Neighbourhood Unitarian Universalist Congregation at 79 Hiawatha Rd, a multi-faith community. Wayne offers this reflection about our cold and dark winter as part of our Open Doors series, which invites faith leaders from the Beaches Ministerial Association to submit columns on a regular basis.