The Shifting Shadow

A shadow is misshapen reality. Elongated or shortened by the angle of the sun, familiar objects appear distorted, muted, hidden. As the sun shifts, so does the shadow, and we see the world anew. Perhaps the colours are brighter than we remember or, lit from a different angle, we see the cracks that had escaped our attention.  Sometimes, the shifting light can reveal a beauty we never imagined.

My shadow was breast cancer. After the initial plunge into darkness, I found the sun moved swiftly.  People reached out, treatment wasn’t as bad as I had imagined, and I had time to reflect.  I felt uplifted and embraced. This was Spring 2013 and I took up the camera to photograph the nature around me.  We live on a property with some natural bushland, so I began by photographing wildflowers, trees and birds. The more I looked, the more signs of life I found. Life full of colour, intricate detail and beauty in tiny forms.

Two years later, healthy and trying to get back into work, I realise the shadow of cancer allowed me time to venture on a creative journey I would otherwise not have begun. As the sun moves through the sky I see the myriad artworks in nature awaiting capture through my lens.

Barely 5cm high, with petals just 2mm across, this tiny Parsons Bands Orchid emerges from the shadowy forest floor. Beauty encapsulated in a tiny form.

2 responses to “The Shifting Shadow”

  1. One More Shot Please Avatar

    I wish you the best of luck! With confidence, hope, and the right support, you can get through this! Thank you for sharing your personal experience. I hope blogging takes things off your mind sometimes.Shadows do follow us and we need to be able to accept other people’s shadows too. It’s a part of life. Please check out my take on the prompt at

    1. Lisa Hunter Avatar

      Thank you. I agree, we all have shadows, and often the most rewarding life experiences come from accepting this and working through them – both for ourselves and for others.

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