Shadows cannot exist without light 

By Ave Maria Beltran, Wood’s Homes Community Engagement Coordinator 

“Never doubt in darkness what you believed in times of light.” — Lynette Noni 

2020 has been a year of “darkness” for many. Times of “light” – creating space for joy, peace, friendship, freedom and the sweetness of life has never been more urgent in history. The convergence of movements like Black Lives Matter, climate activism, the #MeToo movement, and Canadian Truth and Reconciliation amidst global waves of COVID-19 are a stark reminder of the need to prioritize one’s mental health and emotional wellbeing. 

Although I have found myself anxious, fearful and even paralyzed in these times of darkness, I am often reminded of Wood’s Homes’ promise to “never give up.” We know that our client’s struggles is the veiling of stability and a future free from hurt. 

To “never give up” is to know that the sun will come up again. 

“At night, the sun doesn’t disappear. It continues to shine with the same brightness. It is the earth that has turned away from the sun and, as a result, has fallen into partial darkness. As soon as the earth turns round, so to speak, that part of it that was in darkness lights up.” 

– Rupert Spira, Being Aware of Being Aware 

The sun shines with the same brightness, behind and in the midst of all experience. All experience is saturated with its presence whether good, bad or indifferent. The sun does not judge these experiences, but shines unconditionally. All that is necessary for us is to ‘turn round.’ 

Let us never doubt what we believed in times of light. Darkness – feelings of unhappiness and fear – is simply the seeming absence of the sweetness of life. 

Light a candle and you will observe that the flame has no shadow. The flame itself is a source of light. 

In these moments when we associate with and abide in shadows, remember this: Shadows cannot exist without light. 

I like to think that feelings of unhappiness is simply the forgetting of myself. I am not my fears or anxieties. I am still a human being worthy of joy regardless of seemingly paralyzing moments. The children, youth and families we work with at Wood’s Homes are still deserving of kindness and love, regardless of their struggles. The light shines with the same brightness no matter the shadows being cast. 

At the same time, the light is the source of shadows. For how can we fully experience and appreciate the good without the bad? 

I hope you remember that you are the sun. And no matter how dark this year may be, you will come up again.