IN THE SHADOW

It was one of those all-to-rare summer mornings in Scotland when the sun was beating down and the dogs were walking with their tongues hanging out.

Harry and I were strolling along a distance behind the dogs, when he stopped. Two steps further on I stopped. I turned to see what he was doing and he didn’t seem to be doing anything.

Closer inspection on my part revealed a little, inch and a half long, worm on the path. The heat and the dust on the path had coated the little thing, drying it out. It seemed to be trying to flip and flop its way toward the grass, the shade, and whatever life-giving moisture might be there.

Harry had spotted the little thing, stopped, and taken a step back. He smiled at me, held up a finger, and waited. After a puzzling moment I realised he was using his shadow to protect the worm. In standing there, still, he kept the dehydrating sun from the little creature and perhaps, just perhaps, gave it the break it needed make it into the grass.

The worm might have made it anyway. Or it might not. But Harry saw a chance to help and he wasn’t about to walk past while he could help even a creature as insignificant as one that spent its life crawling in the dirt.

And I wondered what it must be like to live a life in such a way that even your very shadow might be used for the purposes of good.

~ © David McLaughlan


“Finding the Extra in the Ordinary.”