I woke this morning with the words “equilibrium” and “equinox” literally fusing together in my waking mind. It was 5:15. My spouse was already awake, evidently motivated to curate media and build a Quia lesson related to the Equinox. My daughter was passed out asleep and likely will be until the very last minute before we leave for school when I drag her (perhaps literally) into the last day of the school week. We were up together sitting outside under the moon at midnight as she sleeplessly lamented the academic and social challenges of middle school and I tried to just listen and be present to hear the experience of being 10 again. What I wanted to do was fall asleep in a heap amid my own emotional exhaustion. The words from the John O’Donohue blessing “For Equilibrium” were still percolating in my subconscious mind after a day filled with work-life extremes from the sacred to the profane. Literally. Yet, all I wanted to do at 5:15 on this particular morning was go sit under the heavy moon hanging on the horizon and write.

I realize this admission of my inner circles of personal and family eccentricity…and the fact that I want to blog about it…plummets me even deeper into the realm of the geek. Guilty as charged. Try to embrace it long enough to run with me a moment on this.

Most all of our lives are spent trying to get out of a state of disequilibrium and into the illusive state of “balance.” I would be rich if I had a dollar for every person I have talked with who is beating her or himself up with a big stick for not having achieved “work-life balance.” And so, I say to you this morning, even the forces of nature tell us we are full of BS in our futile quest for a blissful state of balance. And the reason is, we have convinced ourselves that “balance” is an outcome to strive for, instead of a working state of tension between polarized extremes. Equinox is momentary; solstice is extreme; most of life gets lived in the vast amount of time in between.

Let me detail just a few recent experiences I have come to consider “equinox moments”…

Sitting around a table with Friday night ordered out pizza, two glasses of wine (for the grown ups) and sighing deeply that we made it through the work/school week and are still here together. Equinox.

Stepping into my office amid a barrage of intense meetings, calls, and emails to grasp my prayer beads and focus for 10 whole seconds on being a healing presence in the world. Equinox.

Kneeling between my daughter bursting with life and energy and the aging adult home resident to receive communion. Equinox.

Hearing genuine laughter emerge in the midst of a tense conversation and feeling the balance shift away from impasse. Equinox.

A big salad followed by a slice of fresh peach pie with ice cream. Equinox.

Finding time to write this between waking and rushing off to school and work. Equinox.

I urge us all to take a lesson from the sun and the moon as together they approach this one fleeting time of year where there is perfect balance between the length of day and the length of night. There will be uneasiness and disequilibrium present in the moments before, and again in the moments afterwards. But, sun and moon work it out. Day and night don’t beat each other up for control of the skies. Nature finds a way for each to shine and create a rhythm…not necessarily a balance…in the passing of the days. The diversity of seasons, the ebb and flow of tides, the blessing of sunrises and sunsets of equal but different beauty…these are showcases for our lives.

Embrace the moments of equinox, as you allow the ebb and flow through this process of daily motions we call our lives.


About harasprice

Professor of Social Work and Priest in The Episcopal Church, parent, teacher, learner, writer, advocate, and grateful traveller along this journey through life
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