An Instant of Balance

An Instant of Balance March 19, 2012

The Spring Equinox occurs Tuesday at 12:14 AM Central Time. The next Dark Moon will be Thursday at 9:37 AM, and the following Full Moon will be April 6 at 2:19 PM. Summer Solstice is June 20 at 6:09 PM.

I go back and forth with how I feel about considering important astronomical events with extreme chronographical precision. For our ancestors, simply knowing the day of an equinox or solstice was plenty. And as someone who grew up watching werewolf movies (I’m talking Lon Chaney Jr. and not that Twilight garbage, thankyouverymuch), I remember the moon is full for three nights, not just a moment.

But at the equinoxes, when we like to emphasize equal days and nights and above all, balance, I think it’s helpful to think of the astronomical event as a momentary instant. At 12:13 it is Winter; at 12:15 it is Spring. Tomorrow the Sun rises in due East; on Wednesday it will rise ever so slightly toward the North. We honor the moment and then the moment is gone.

Balance is an instant: not a day, not a season, and certainly not a life. What we commonly call “balance” is more properly called diversity of experience or honoring our whole lives. We need work and play, joy and sorrow, mirth and reverence, pleasure and pain, activity and rest. Growth is stimulated when muscles stretch and strain and become fatigued. Growth actually occurs during rest, when the stress of exercise is repaired and the muscles are rebuilt larger and stronger.

Activity without rest will burn up the body, the mind, the spirit, and the person. Rest without activity will waste away the body, the mind, the spirit, and the person.

But enough with precision and metaphors and physiology and intellectual stimulation. Let’s look at some pretty flowers.

Happy Equinox. Happy Spring.

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