We’ve found a rhythm, he and I. On beautiful Fall Saturdays, he says “let’s go fishing”, and I say “sure”. He grabs his fishing rod and tackle box, I grab my book, camera, and journal, we pack a lunch and drive to his favourite lake.

lyons lake

When we get there, he heads toward the dock, and I head into the woods. At some point, we meet for a shore lunch, but most of the day we enjoy our separate solitudes.

lyons lake 2Today after wandering as far as the path would take me, I found myself drawn into the shadows.

First it was a ladder of light climbing the moss on the side of a rock that pulled me away from the shore.     IMG_1496      IMG_1453   Then it was the lichen on a decaying branch. Like a tiny white forest perched precariously on a cliff.

IMG_1460The closer I looked, the more I marveled at the intricate beauty growing in the shadows.

My curiosity drew me further into the woods.

IMG_1475Crouching down in the moss, a whole world unfolded under my gaze.

There were mushrooms that must certainly house mythical creatures at dusk when humans have gone home.

IMG_1489There were mosses in a thousand shades of green.

Each a tiny tree, dwarfed in the shadows of the giant trees all around it.

IMG_1525My knees were soon green and moist with reverence.

There was no end to the beauty, no end to the shadows.

IMG_1527And as I marveled, I knew that I had opened an doorway into a universal truth.

I knew that it wasn’t only in the woods that wonder waits in the shadows.

IMG_1515Once again, the woods were teaching me, tapping me on the shoulder and saying “Pay attention. This is important.

“There is beauty in the shadows. Things grow there that you don’t expect.”

IMG_1496In the darkest of days, the unexpected shows up and offers grace.

Like mushrooms and lichens and moss, there is wonder and beauty and wholehearted life that is available to us when we open ourselves to growth in the midst of shadows.

p.s. If you want to learn more about the gifts we receive in the darkness, that will be the theme of one of the lessons in The Spiral Path: A Woman’s Journey to Herself.

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