The Spring Equinox is imminent—this Wednesday the 20th with the full moon—and after this whacky winter and late Spring here on Vashon Island, it is most welcome. This year was a winter to get through, and we did—huzzah! I wanted to write a blog post to wish you a Happy Return of Spring, and also to say a few words about balance.
The equinoxes are, of course, all about balance, being the equal day/night points in our dance around the sun. The seasons balance themselves, from the winter and summer extremes, and these days we do have extreme events in them, making the milder times even more enjoyable. Blue sky, flowers, birds, warmer but not hot temps, longer days...ahhhh. No more heavy coats and cabin fever.
I like to think about the fact that, if it weren't for a fateful collision of some giant rock from space with our little blue planet, causing an extinction event and giving us our tilt—and henceforth our seasons—the balance here would be very very different, and possibly we couldn't live where we live. Or even be alive.
I like to think about the random, cataclysmic events that made life for our species—and millions of other species—possible. An excellent series to view to consider this and many other very cool things about our blue living planet is One Strange Rock (now streaming on Netflix), and I recommend it if you haven't checked it out.
Knowing and not knowing is another balance point for us to be aware of in our day-to-day perspectives. Knowing and not knowing simultaneously is a measure of the wisewoman and the warrior-not worrier, and of course philosophers such as my man Socrates. Practicing being comfortable with uncertainty and not-knowing while contemplating the space it allows for revelation, discovery, insight, and serendipity, keeps us fluid and flowing, open to wonder and wondrous things happening out of nowhere, and always ready to grow and learn.
In Zen, there's the saying mind like water—a fluid state of knowing/not-knowing that keeps one fresh, open, aware, and in flow. Children are always wondering about stuff. My fairy godson, who is 2, is in a "where does x come from?" stage. It's a very good question to ask, and wonder about. Where does Spring come from? From the tilt! See the diagram, because we take for granted our helical tilt-a-whirl movements that lean our hemisphere closer to and farther from the sun in our annual rotation.
Another aspect of this is how much we are connected to the child we still are, simultaneously with our 'adulting' ups and downs. As adults, we love to be right, to know what's what, and what everyone should do about it—and knowledge does indeed come in handy. But we don't always know the exact right thing to say, think or do, or need to be right; we can't always persuade others to think or do as we do, and trying to force stuff doesn't really work.
Children know a lot too, in a different way, and are connected to the planet and all the beings around them in a way that keeps them very present. We grown-ups may know how to drive the car, but perhaps the child knows what to think about or play or sing or listen to while they ride in one. Like this little girl, singing Bohemian Rhapsody in her car seat. Balance for us is letting our child self play and speak and be heard, and keep wonder and curiosity alive in us.
Here's a Brain Pickings page on genius and the fluidity of the inner child.
These are the days that try men's souls, someone once said. Balancing the busy mental load, and the burdens of a troubled world we're carrying, with asking our child self what they see, hear, need, want, think, and wonder about is good medicine for our souls, and good balance.
I'm creating a women's afternoon retreat in May, here on the island, for exactly that. The idea came to me a little while back, while a lot of child stuff seemed to be surfacing, and I happened to view some child stories and such that touched that part of me and made me realize she wanted some time to come out and play, be listened to, and enjoy support.
Children are saying some very wise and important things these days, needing to be heard and not just placated, and that goes for the ones inside of us. Listen to Greta Thunberg's TED talk here.
What does any of this have to do with shamanic practice? EVERYTHING! Everything is alive, time and space are elastic, we spiral through an immense universe, defying any notions our little 3-D brains can contain, and your wholeness and well-being depend on you keeping the child in you alive and playing.
We need to more fully realize—make real—we are one human race on this one little blue planet, full of beauty and wonder, and balance ourselves to rise above fear, to better love and care for it and the children, who already know they are facing a very rough adulthood, because adults didn't/don't quite care enough to keep it safe and healthy for them and for their children.
Equality, equanimity, and equity work miracles in balancing and alignment, and this week is the perfect fulcrum point to recalibrate yourself. May you dance your power dance, sing your power song, walk in beauty and balance, and know the truth.