Someone following me on my run. Someone who, wait for it, doesn't look half bad. I mean even given the advantages of the lengthening effect that shadows have, this one looks kinda slim, no major bulges where they shouldn't be.
I actually stopped running to look at it, to look at my shadow, to look at me.
I stood there in the middle of the lane and I burst out laughing. I whipped out my camera and took some snaps of this magical moment. This moment when me, the most hyper critical creature in Christendom, actually looked at herself and said "yes, you're okay girl, you look great!".
You know my shadow has been with me for a lot of years now, maybe too many to really remember. It's always been around, been there to remind me in bursts of sunlight that I'm big, hulking, lumpy, bumpy and chunky. Not the me I really wanted to be.
Okay over the past couple of years it has enjoyed running with me, being my partner and companion on the miles of lanes and countryside. We never say much, my shadow and I, in fact the other day I think might possibly be the first time I've ever really stopped, stared and spoken to it.
It puts up with my taste in music, my leaping about to the lively stuff, and the sniffling as the sad songs come on and instead of clicking through them, I continue to run with tears in eyes and snot on nose.
It puts up with my tuneless singing along and my shrieks and swear words as I fall in the occasional hedge usually aided and abetted by the passing milk lorry.
But I don't look at it really. It was always a reminder of what I didn't want to see. Even knowing I lost weight, even with the running, I still didn't want to see it.
Then on Monday, in the sunshine, really springy bright sunshine it seemed to catch up with me on the lane. We were running together my shadow and I, we were running like old friends. I saw it and I liked it, I liked what I saw.
I saw in that shadow the me I had always wanted to be. The me I had strived for. It suddenly occurred to me that she was here, she was actually here already and not an ethereal shadow of a wish un-granted. I looked from my shadow on the ground to my feet attached to it, I looked all the way up and there were no lumps, bumps or scarily big bits. The body I was looking at was the one I had dreamed of.
A moment of sublime clarity on a quiet country lane in Ayrshire . I laughed and I leaped in the air and punched the sky and said "Thank You!".