When I was a child, my father sometimes took me for a walk in the late afternoon. We would wander down through the pasture, not hurrying. He would tell me the names of the trees, point out a bird's nest so well hidden that the careless eye would never see it. Sometime, if the day was uncommonly warm, he would say to me 'Walk in my shadow, I'll be your shade'.
Even now, I recall how good it was to be a child, becoming aware of the natural order of life, watching the miracles of the changing seasons, marvelling at the mysteries that even my father couldn't explain. I walked with his safe in his shadow, protected by the shade he provided me.
One day we discovered that I had grown too tall to fit into his shadow. We didn't speak of it. We just both knew that the time had come for use to walk side by side - each casting his own shadow.
Later, I came to understand that the shadow of my father was as it was because of who he was: big enough, wise enough, strong enough to be my shelter till I was sufficiently strong to step outside and walk my own way.
My father gave me the best of himself - his shadow and his substance
JB via SW