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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fall Equinox: Moment of Balance?

Photo of acrylic painting by Rick Carey
Today is Fall equinox and signals the end of summer and the beginning of the fall season.  I wrote about this equinox last year  It marks the time when there is an equal amount of light and darkness.  Between now and the  Winter Solstice, on December 21st, the days get shorter and we have more darkness than light. Then that all reverses at the Solstice and we once again get more light than darkness. Hmm...

Sounds very official, calculated and exact.  In a way it seems to me as though we are trying to put some logical, left brained parameters around something we actually feel from our hearts. This feeling is processed, or could be processed better perhaps, from the right side of our brain. than from that logical left.

While all these scientific  thoughts and measurements are being placed on the fall equinox, it's considered to be the time of ultimate balance.  At the moment in time of the equinox, nature is balanced with the same amount of light and dark.

To have a moment of balance, the left brain says, there must be some imbalance on either sides of that equation.  Does that mean in the days leading up to the equinox we felt off balance?  Does that mean that after today we will feel off balance again?  Maybe, but if that happens to you then today must be an incredible day of total balance.  Good for you.  Enjoy it!  On the other hand....

Wise Woman and I have had mind-boggling conversations about the concept of "homeostasis".   You probably remember the word from grade 10 biology class or somewhere along the line.  According to Collins Dictionary it refers to
"The tendency of an organism to achieve a stable metabolic state by compensating automatically for violent changes in the environment and other disruptions. "
It is nature's way of finding balance.  But the point is- we're always working to find the balance. It isn't really something we, or nature, achieves so much as it is the goal to which we are always striving. The disruptions and changes (I'm not sure they have to be "violent" ) are what keep us alive.  It's by being "out of balance" than we can find balance- or get very very close. As soon as we find that point of balance we shift again and work to regain it. As soon as we reach the equinox and equality of light and dark, we are back to shorter days again.

So maybe it isn't about achieving the goal that is as important as it is continuing to work towards it. Maybe it is important to realize that there will always be fluctuations and adjustments required along the way.  We will always be shifting to find balance and the shift is what's important and should be celebrated. Homeostasis happens automatically.  We can't really make it happen, but we do best when we allow it to occur.

We are shifting out of summer and into fall today. At least in my part of the world, it isn't a violent shift.  It still feels quite warm and tropical out there, and yet something does feel different.  The leaves are starting to change, the air smells different and triggers remembering deep inside. It isn't so much unbalance as we feel ourselves shifting to reach the homeostatic state, a state that can never really exactly be achieved. I guess it's the "journey not the destination".

Today's picture is a copy of a painting by the artist Rick Carey.  If you want your own ladybug leaf print (9 x11 size), you can email me at and I'll send it on to the artist.
My favorite part about the painting is  the ladybug in the right hand corner. I like the balance between the green grass of summer, the ladybug of warm times and gentle seasons, the dying leaf of winter approaching, and the "right now moment" of that perfectly formed maple leaf in brilliant second chakra color. It's all available to us.  It's all there, all the time.  The sun doesn't "loose any strength", she just allows the darkness to make more of an appearance.  They will shift roles again and we'll shift with it; automatically if we stop fighting it all!

Happy equinox.  Celebrate the shifting!

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