Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Dawns Again!

Today is the Vernal Equinox. At precisely 11:32 a.m. MDT, the sun hovers directly above the equator, and light and dark are said to reside in perfect balance. While night and day are not exactly equal in length for many of us, we’re darn close. And from here on, for those of us in the northern hemisphere, light wins out.

Cultures throughout the world have, therefore, celebrated this event as a time of rebirth. Today, though, I find myself thinking of teeter~ totters. Bear with me.

When I was quite young, I was fascinated by a special clock which sat atop a table in my grandmother’s parlor. Below the clock face, a piece of glass offered a view into a three~dimensional outdoor scene housed in the structure’s base. There, a boy and girl sat upon a seesaw, endlessly moving up and down in rhythm to the ticking clock. I could watch this pair for hours, especially at night when a small bulb lit the scene from within. Sitting in the darkened parlor, I felt I was truly looking into another world.

Perhaps this is where my love of real life teeter~totters was born. I could ride them forever. This “sport” is all about balance. My playmate and I would often adjust our positions on the board~~the heavier child scooting toward the center, the lighter one inching nearer the outer edge~~until the wooden plank came to rest in its horizontal and still position.

Once equilibrium was achieved, however, we rarely remained there for more than a few seconds. Sometimes gravity got the better of us. Most of the time, though, one of us would purposely tip the scale, just for the sheer fun of moving again.

I’m thinking there might be a lesson in this. Balance is a precarious thing and we are not meant to be poised there always. We are meant to be moved by life, now up, now down.

Yet amid the fluctuations, there’s another type of balance that is ours to cultivate long~term. On the teeter~totter, we’d seldom sit serenely as we moved up and down. No, we’d let go of the handle, stand on the seat, ride backwards, whirl around. Anything to spice it up. Such antics required a dynamic internal equilibrium, one that spontaneously adjusted to meet our changing needs. We were, of course, propelled by a sense of daring as well.

Internal equilibrium and daring~~a nice combination for encountering life’s challenges.

On each of the two yearly equinoxes, the stasis point is fleeting. The rest of the year, either day or night predominates. This is true, too, in our own lives. Things may be a bit lighter or a bit darker. We may be going up, or we may be coming down. Yet amid these permutations, a balance point can be found within our own souls.

As a child, I loved the up and down rhythm I saw inside my grandmother’s clock. In my real world seesawing, though, I discovered a personal balance point within that steady rhythm. We can metaphorically do the same in our lives now. By cultivating an agile steadiness within, we can find novel ways to keep our seat during both the rising and the falling that comes our way.

We can, also, dare to relish the ride itself~~and we can do so whether one hand waves free, or both are holding on for dear life.

Happy spring to you all! And enjoy the ride!

Loanne Marie

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Leia Marie