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My Shadow, My Friend

Written by Jill Smith
Illustrated by Lindsey Ridgeway

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The Poem

Jill writes from a place of curiosity and joy, combining her innate sense of childlike wonder with the wisdom of a well-loved grandmother. She lives in Utah with her husband and two sons where they enjoy a magically mundane existence. "My Shadow, My Friend is her first book, and is inspired by her deep dive into working with her own body to pinpoint and release triggers and the subsequent deeper intimacy and love she has experienced through this ever present opportunity. This poem is her personal medicine; a practice that she has knit together over time and one that is evolving in every moment and breath. She invites the reader to relax in as close as they can get to sit with the truth found and to hold its hand.

 - Jill Smith

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The Illustrations

Jill's poem immediately resonated with me and reflected my own healing journey with incredibly accuracy. The poem, however, does not follow a specific character in any described setting or timeline. This meant building a completely new storyline to capture the meaning of the poem in a way that can help readers visualize and understand it. Each image was carefully considered to form together a story of healing. Bright colors and simplified shapes are used with whimsy to reflect the essence of a children's book. The colors are used intentionally to set a tone for the message associated with each page. I wanted the character to venture into a new world with curiosity, the same way we must learn ourselves with open minds and hearts. It is a story of hope and comfort. My hope is that the readers will leave with a feeling of soft warmth, and a smile of contentment.

- Lindsey Ridgeway

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