Photos and text copyright Romping and Rolling in the Rockies 2009-2017.

All photographs and text within this blog are copyrighted.

You may not copy or repost any photos or text without specific permission from the author of this blog. When in doubt, please ask.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Darkness and the Light

Life sometimes feels like a dance between the darkness and the rays of sunshine as we struggle to find our way among the difficult hurdles we encounter. I feel like that dance defines my life. I try to cope with the hurdles and come away from each difficult situation stronger than I was before. There is something to be learned, some wisdom to be gained, and some insight to be captured in almost every tough situation.

I find that the struggle between dark and light draws me into photography. I love trying to capture the rays of sunshine in the midst of a dark forest. Yesterday, Shyla fell asleep in a warm sun puddle while I photographed her in the forest.
It's easiest, in terms of telling the stories of our lives, to focus on only the rays of sunshine - the happiness. Yet, we all have struggles of one kind or another.
As you know, Shyla struggles with fears - mainly of interacting with unknown dogs, some people, and the bustle of town. Recently, she's made big strides with one of those struggles.

There's another young female dog who runs with her human on our trails. The other young female dog tends to greet canines with an emphatic signal that she considers herself to be the boss. It is often a growl, an air snap, or a pounce - but it never goes beyond a ritualistic sort of behavior. Confident dogs, like R, simply ignore her greeting behavior. In contrast, fearful dogs, like Shyla, can be terrified by it.

Something has shifted in Shyla's relationship with that dog recently, partly because the other dog has recently dialed down how she greets Shyla. In the next photo, Shyla has just spotted the dog coming up the hill toward us. Her reaction was to wag!!! Look at her tail - it's in mid-wag.
In recent encounters, the other dog has done something very funny when she arrives just ahead of her human. She runs in between me and Shyla, and she sits, appearing to "pose" for a photo. So, I obliged the other day. She's a pretty dog, and I'm so glad that she and Shyla are getting more comfortable with each other. Her owners are friends of ours, and it's fun if our dogs get along!
That's an example, in non-literal terms, of the struggle between darkness and light that goes on all the time in our lives. Shyla adores running in the forest but she's had to find the courage to face the few scary situations that we encounter out there. The light, Shyla's confidence, is winning in this case.
But I think it's worth remembering and acknowledging that life isn't always a picnic. We don't have to paint our lives like Hallmark cards.
But I do love the glow that emanates when the light and the darkness meet.


  1. So happy Shyla was good with her!

  2. Kia ora KB,
    The older I get the less I like being around people I don't know, even some I do know, and get in and out of town as quickly and quietly as I can. I think Shyla is just very smart. Kia Kaha e hoa..

  3. Ooh, that second picture of Shyla is probably one of my favorites of her!

    You're right. Our lives are not Hallmark cards, and it's hard sometimes keeping up the effort.

  4. Thank you for sharing your glow with us!! Your words said it perfectly.

  5. Without a dark patch or two, the light would not be so valued. Superb photos, love the new girl too. Cheers, Jean.

  6. i'm glad for both shyla and the grrreeter that they're settling down with each other. :)

  7. That second photo is a heart-melter!

    I'm happy that for today, the greeter was nice, but Shyla, you just never know what she might be like tomorrow! Be brave and strong!

    Stella (and Jo)

  8. Great analogy! I'm so glad you found photography, and Shyla.

  9. I have always felt that you can't appreciate the light without ever experiencing some darkness. And I agree with your last thoughts today about the light and darkness meeting! What a gorgeous combination!

  10. Beautiful lyrical post. Lovely prose and great moral. The photographs are perfect illustrations. Thanks

  11. Beautiful post and photos as always. Love to read of Shlya's victories over her fears - glad they are becoming friendly, it will boost her confidence even more.

  12. Just beautiful. Your photos are stunning! I always love them. Great post.

  13. We hope Shyla and the other dogs become good friends.

    XXXOOO Bella & Roxy

  14. Bless your mom for helping you to overcome your fears, Shyla. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous, KB!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  15. This is more poetry than photoessay. Lovely and you are right, we don't like to let others see the darkness due to our own fears.

  16. That is cute that Shyla appears happy to see her friend. We thought of you yesterday.
    While walking at 5am, the pups were spooked for some unknown reason. Scurrying along, their teeny tails pushed down and constantly looking at me and looking behind us. Nothing. Although my hand was on my pepper spray
    Lily & Edward

  17. Hi!
    I have to work with VIlja more. She is so insecure. THe otherday we met our neighbour. I let her go to him and say hello. She barked and bit him in his trousers he came by and wanted to see us. She directly Went to his trousers again.
    I wonder why? She normally barks when people come she dont know. After a while she is calmer and can sit in their lap......
    I really dont understand what made the reaction agains our neighbour. He is frindely dogperson.

  18. We just get mesmerized by your wonderful photos!

  19. Yin and Yang. The balance of nature. You can't have light without dark. That's a fantastic photo of shyla! Of course her confidence will win. she has best support group around!


If you are a Blogger registered user, you can skip the step asking you to verify that you are not a spammer. For posts older than 5 days, I have comment moderation turned on.

Thanks for your comments!!!!!