Today I am celebrating Balance. It’s such a beautiful word; it trips lightly over the lips almost like a ballet move. The French pronunciation is especially lovely, I think: Baaa lahns!
an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.
“slipping in the mud but keeping their balance”
synonyms: stability, equilibrium, steadiness, footing
“I tripped and lost my balance”
a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.
“overseas investments can add balance to an investment portfolio”
synonyms: fairness, justice, impartiality, evenhandedness, egalitarianism, equal opportunity
There are so many references to balance in our world: balance the checkbook, balance the ball, lose your balance, balancing act, find your balance, and so on. Today, nature seemed in perfect balance.
At 3:30 pm I decided to take a walk along the shore of our nearby harbor. It was a lovely day. That infernal wind we’ve been having sporadically this winter was nowhere to be found. The air was fresh and crisp and had just the right amount of chilliness for me. The sun was still shining providing just the right amount of warmth on my face. Everything was very calm. Balance was in the air.
I realized that I was experiencing one of those rare moments when nature is perfectly poised between winter and spring. The tide was dead low and there were ducks visible. But unlike the other day when they were manically mating, today they were calm and sat along the shore with their webbed feet tucked under them as though they, too, felt the calmness. It was that perfect moment between tides, when the water has not yet reversed its direction and all is still.
Joggers were wearing winter jackets with shorts reflecting the need for some protection against the chill, but also a desire to shed those winter garments.
And then I spotted them. A few tiny bunches of orange crocuses poking out of the weeds along the roadside. I let out a little cry of joy when I saw them; they were such a burst of color in an otherwise muted landscape.
All the boats in the harbor are still covered in their plastic packaging (not ecologically correct, I’m afraid), waiting for that first warm day when their covers come off. The osprey nest planted on the awning of a small boat is quietly waiting for last year’s resident osprey couple to return and take up residence. No sign of any life there yet.
Noting all these details I realized that balance was what I was experiencing. Balance is something that I now seek. Anyone who has had a combined work life and family life for several decades knows how unattainable balance can be during those years, strive as we might. I can still remember how as a much younger person I used to crave extremes, usually in the form of an adventure. Sometimes it worked out and sometimes it didn’t and when it didn’t I plunged into self doubt. My life was definitely not in balance during those earlier years.
Now I know that balance is acquiring certain habits and practicing them…no, savoring them. Avoiding extremes that will cause the boat to rock too much or maybe even tip over. Having the wisdom to say yes or no according to what is best for me at this time. It sounds almost boring but it’s not; instead, it’s peaceful. Now that spring is just around the corner and the pace of my life is picking up along with the demands, I must remember how important balance has become for me and how hard I’ve worked to achieve it!