What Have You to Declare?

All my life I’ve lived in my own shadow. This place is consolatory. It is familiar. It is where my wild things lie in wait. Beneath my shadow, trees begin to grow–giant sequoias, oaks, magnificent maple trees, lovely, green, and awful. In the recesses of my own shadow, I sail to distant lands and encounter august creatures. They tell me their stories and they listen intently to mine. We share, we laugh, we play as though the sun will never set and energy replenished itself as constant as the dawn.

I have lived in that place for many years. It has become a home of sorts. But life there is lonely. Life is dark in the occupation of my shadow. And so I asked her once, “Why is it that you exist?” With a coolness that carried up my spine, she replied, “To challenge your power.” My power? I thought for a moment, retracing memories of the two wisest people in my life. My mother had never described any inherent power or force. My Nana had never disclosed this mighty wisdom either. Could my shadow be deceiving me? My Papa had a power about him however, I felt censored in the presence of his power. The very thing that made me woman was stolen and choked out when his power breathed in its authority.

I weighed my options, of which I figured I had three. I could assume my shadow was a liar–for in her residence my world was less than real. Although this could be quite plausible, I felt this was not the right option. She had unearthed a wellspring within; something deeper was occurring in my spirit that called for discovery. I was becoming more awake. My second alternative was to do nothing, to continue as though the words she spoke had no effect or were spoken in an ancient tongue of which I knew not. But her words were clear and shook my very foundation with the same force that shook Northridge in 1994. My final option, the choice that made me cringe with distress and uneasiness, was to inquire further, to ask the source. Hesitantly, I spoke, and although the words barely formed in thought, I asked, “From where does my power manifest?” Her response, simple, concise, called me out of my own darkness and onto a new path. She responded, “From where do you manifest?”

Let the journey begin.


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