In Search of the Rising Sun

One day a man set out walking in search of the Rising Sun.

For many years he had journeyed by day and by night when he began to notice that as the sun and the moon travelled across the earth's sky the varying lights they cast would play subtle tricks upon his shadow.

Sometimes his shadow would walk before him, and sometimes it would walk behind him. Sometimes it would grow great and tall until it cowered over him, and sometimes it would draw itself inward until it hid beneath his feet. And as he continually watched his shadow he soon became infatuated with it and was always seeking out for it. Whenever he would catch a glimpse of it he would immediately try to run it down.

And so the man was spending his days and his nights chasing after his own shadow.

This displeased the Lord who sat on high upon his throne watching over the traveller. So one day He willed it that the man should be allowed to actually catch up to his shadow. Suddenly the man saw that all this time he had been chasing after a ravaging and roaring lion lying in wait to devour him, and he quickly turned away and fled in great terror.

The man warily continued upon his journey, always watching out for his shadow lest it should creep upon him unawares. Whenever he caught a glimpse of it he would immediately turn and flee so that never again might he have to face that cruel and hideous beast.

And thus the man was spending his days and nights running from his own shadow.

Finally one day the Lord in his infinite mercy decided that the weary traveller was ready, and He willed that his Wisdom should swoop down upon the man like a dove in flight.

By this time the traveller had grown very old, and when the Spirit of the Lord descended upon him he was suddenly filled with great courage and he turned to face his shadow and saw that all the while he had only been running from a tiny and harmless little mouse. He immediately rent his garments, fell prostrate to the ground, and began to weep bitterly.

For it was at that moment that he realized that it is not the sun which journeys across the earth’s sky, but the earth which revolves around the sun, turning always as it travels and creating in its mystic and intimate dance with the sun and the moon the day and the night. And the shadow which he had spent so many years pursuing, and then fleeing, was but an illusion cast by none other than himself against the Eternal Light; an illusion which he had foolishly allowed to distract him from his journey, so that he had spent all of those years when he could have been moving forward only running around in circles.

Realizing he had squandered his time, the traveller picked himself up and set out once again in search of the Rising Sun, harboring no hopes that he might ever reach it, but travelling nonetheless quite earnestly and with the certainty of the righteous man, who in his journeying is distracted not by shadows and lets neither seduction nor fear divert his gaze from the star which guides him, and the path which lies below his feet.

© 1998-2018 Bryan Patrick Deno