by Marcia Hall
I knew a shadow once.
She dwelled deep inside the heart of a man.
His heart was dark and troubled. The shadow remained silent, unmoving, crouched in a place without light and devoid of hope.
When, once in a while, sunlight illuminated his heart, the shadow came alive. The heart filled with joy and swelled with hope, and the shadow danced with happiness.
Rare were those good times. More and more, the darkness descended. The shadow stayed inside the heart, unfulfilled and longing for a way to come alive again.
The man began to think more earnestly than he had ever thought before. He turned ideas over and over in his mind. He pondered everything about his life. Finally ... finally ... his ideas solidified into one amazing, life-changing, earth-shattering decision.
The shadow stirred. She could feel something happening. It was as if her world, there in his heart, was coming alive.
And then it happened. The man stood erect, legs spread, arms reaching heavenward, eyes beseeching the heavens. Suddenly, he cried, "I am not Avery. I am VIVIANNE. Do you hear me, world? I AM VIVIANNE!"
He bent down, picked up seashells on the shore, and threw them into the crashing surf. He threw off his shoes and danced in the sand, and he laughed with joy. Laughing and crying at the same time, he proclaimed, "I AM VIVIANNE!"
Those words roused the shadow, and she saw that sunlight was streaming into the heart. There were no dark recesses in which to hide. Everything was new and bright. Every moment had meaning. The shadow was so excited that she leaped from the heart onto the sand so she could dance behind him.
Every time he moved his arms, so did she! Every time he took a dance step, so did she! It was the first time she had truly been a shadow!
Ah, but that wasn't all. She looked way up into his face, that handsome, rugged face she had so long admired, and she was astonished. He wasn't a man -- he was a woman, a beautiful woman, a happy woman! Together they danced until the moon was high.
At last, Vivianne stopped dancing. She was tired. She found a soft, sandy spot between two large rocks, lay back, and let sleep overcome her, traces of a smile on her lips. The shadow returned to Vivianne's heart, but there,too, were changes. Just as the stars shone down on Vivianne, so the light pierced the darkness of her heart, and there were no more dark recesses. There was only soft light. The shadow had to blink to believe it.
There was no place for the shadow to hide. There was no reason to hide!
Vivianne's breathing was slow and relaxed, in, then out, in, then out, and soon the shadow was lulled to sleep.
Those simple, joyful words, "I AM VIVIANNE, I AM VIVIANNE!" had found the key, had opened the door, and sunlight had replaced the darkness. Vivianne and her shadow had an adventure before them, but it would be met face to face in the brightness of day, never again in darkness.
In that final moment of realization, Vivianne had found peace and contentment and commitment -- and, most of all, she had found herself.
I know this tale is real for I am the shadow.