Light and shadows

Sometimes there are details which appear repeatedly in a short time span of my life bringing together new meaning to me. It’s like when you take a lemon, sugar and water and prepare lemon juice from them. By taste, you can still distinguish the ingredients but you cannot separate them anymore and even their taste is not entirely the same. It is how it started with light and shadows this time.

I like Robert Ludlum and his spy stories and yesterday I finished reading the 3rd instalment of his Bourne series. I came across a sentence there: “Hugging the shadows of the successive storefronts, Jason crept slowly forward.” My breathing slowed down for a while as the words “hugging the shadows” got stuck in my mind. If I understood the shadows figuratively as those unpleasant episodes and circumstances cast on my life, would I be able to say that I know how to use them, accept them or even hug them? Sometimes that might be a condition for moving forward.

And just a few days ago I was watching an autobiographical film about Rembrandt and while browsing through a gallery of his paintings I was amazed – again – by the light and shadows in them. Many of Rembrandt’s paintings are quite dark. But in the paintings there is often a scene which looks like illuminated by bright yellow light of a spotlight. The light and shadows create impressive contrast in the painting. Without the shadows, the light wouldn’t have such effect.

While pondering over the light and shadows, I suddenly heard one of my favourite passages from the Bible (Ecclessiastes 3:1 – 3:8) in my mind, saying that

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.”

And I know that is the answer. For every matter there is a time. A time to enjoy the light and a time to accept the reality of the shadows. And without a shadow of a doubt, we need to accept this fact.

Let’s enjoy the light of Christmas time fully. It’s there to encourage us and bring peace to our souls and outweigh all the shadows we meet in our lives.