When I was a young child of maybe five or six, an elderly neighbour taught me how to hold my hands to cast shadows of elephants, dogs and spiders on the living room wall. I loved making those shadow pictures, watching the phantom dog bark or the phantom elephant wave his trunk back and forth.
I was reminded of those days as I entered the barn this morning to see a silhouette of a bird perched on the outside window ledge just above the piggies' stall. Returning to the house, another shadow picture revealed itself as my cat, Allie, sat on the wide ledge between the sunlit window and the mini blinds that cover it.
There are times when all we see in life are the shadows, the silhouettes of those around us, and yet they are every bit as beautiful as the more richly detailed beings they represent.
Bird through a barn window
Bird through a barn window (2)
Cat in window
Cat in window (2)
Cat in window (3)
And that reminded me of a shot I took of Soda many months ago, as she emerged from the barn into bright sunlight one crisp fall day - not a shadow picture, but still a contrast of light and dark:
Sunlight on a piggy's snout
Mr. Bell, the man who taught me to have fun with shadow pictures, has long since passed away. Little did he know he gave me a gift I would enjoy more than half a century later.