It occurred to me this morning that shadow and shade are the same (obvious I know). I was thinking about the idea of the shadow self and how we spend so much time either fighting or hiding from (or drowning in) the shadow part of ourselves. There is so much fear and anger and pain wrapped up in the "shadow". Yet when its over 100 degrees on a hot summer day and the sun is blazing overhead we go in search of shade.
While I was thinking about this it dawned on me that if the Sun and/or fire/ light represent things like growth, truth, and a desire to fully develop into our own selves-- and shade is where we go when it gets too hot, then maybe shadow plays the same role.
We can learn a lot from our shadow sides and actions. One of the things that we can learn is what exactly is "too bright" or "too hot" for us to deal with. The heat is good and necessary it helps to grow and develop, but too much can be painful. So we go and sit in the shade and while we sit in the shade we have a chance to reflect on what we are actually running from without frying up.
Maybe it is a metaphor that doesn't work as well in the modern world, but if you think about it, the shadow signals a time (and need) to rest. We strive to be better but sometimes we really need to just stop trying. Sometimes we need protection from the growing process. We fear the shadow when it becomes all encompassing (ie you can't see the sun anymore) but when the sun is out then it is nice to sit in the shade and enjoy both the sun and dark simultaneously. It's not healthy to stay there forever and that might be why shadows move through out the day, but it's healthy to rest when we feel over-burdened.
I don't know. Maybe that sounds stupid, but I've been trying to understand the "purpose" of the shadow and I feel like that metaphor was helpful to me. Plus I didn't have anything else (so far) to write here so...
Have a great day. :)