Passion versus Balance

This past weekend was the Fall Equinox. The Celtic holiday of Mabon, celebrated by many modern pagans is associated with the Equinox.  Mabon is just one of the many names for this holiday; Autumn Equinox, Harvest Home, Alban Elfed and Winter Finding are others.

The equinox in September occurs the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above Earth’s Equator – from north to south. It happens either on September 22, 23, or 24 every year.

It is called “Equinox” because night and day are nearly exactly the same length – 12 hours – all over the world.  The word “equinox,” derived from Latin, meaning “equal night.” “equi” and “nox”

This implies equal amounts of daylight and darkness, but that is not exactly the case.  The Equinox, as a day representing a precise balance Is actually, not precise It is more of a progression; a practice maybe.

For example, this year on the equinox, the sun rose at 6:44 a.m. EDT and set at 6:52 p.m. – which is 8 minutes of day over night.  Not exactly equal.  Although the sun is perfectly over the equator on that day the interplay between sunrise and sunset is actually not simple.

Exact equal day and night didn’t happen until September 25 when sunrise was at 6:47 a.m. EDT and sunset at 6:47 p.m.

Isn’t that strange?

Even on the day of the year, named for things being precisely in balance, they are, actually, not precisely in balance…

Researching balance and the equinox, I came across a video of Anderson Cooper on fastcompany.com, talking about how his passion for his work is more important than balance.  The famous (perhaps now infamous) news reporter said that if you love what you do, why would you spend your time doing anything else?  Anderson Cooper said that he was happy investing himself fully into his work, and his passion takes care of any balance he needs…

cafe couple with big drinks, photo by Susan Sermonetta (cc) 2007.
cafe couple with big drinks, photo by Susan Sermonetta (cc) 2007.

Anderson Cooper also said that when he drives home from work, at 10pm at night, he sometimes sees people eating dinner together in restaurants, and he remembers that he never goes out to dinner with any friends, because he isn’t sure if he has any friends left, he hasn’t seen them in so long.  He sounded a little wistful.

It seems that perhaps, passion does not take care of balance precisely.  Even when we love what we do so much that it provides us with a sense of meaning, purpose, connection, it may still benefit us to take stock of the balance in our lives.

This time of equal day and equal night may be a good time for us to take stock of the balance between our worlds, where do your passions lie and are you balancing your investment into them with your other needs?

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