Last week, for the second time this year, night and day were in perfect balance. The Autumnal Equinox, and its twin, the Vernal Equinox in March, are the two days of the year when the Earth’s axis is tilted in such a way to equally balance the light and the dark, giving us twelve hours of each.
The days will now become progressively shorter as we travel toward the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year. Paradoxically, the day that signals the beginning of the winter season, December 21st, also begins the Earth’s journey back toward the light, with days becoming progressively longer again.
In the months that follow the delicate pause of the Equinox, as we in the Northern Hemisphere descend into the darkening of the world, our sisters and brothers on the other side of the globe are drifting from their point of balance into the emergent spring.
Somehow, I have always found it comforting to think of this global symmetry, knowing that, while half of the world is awakening from hibernation and watching tender buds push their way through the earth toward the sun, the other half of the planet is preparing for the long nap of winter. There is balance here too.
The more the world becomes a smaller neighborhood, helped by the increase in international interactions borne of technology and the understanding of our interdependence, the less strange it seems for my neighbors in the Southern Hemisphere to be in the opposite environment from my own.
I am now more accustomed now to see colleagues from South Korea attending meetings in the middle of their night due to time zone differences and I have gotten up at 3 am myself for the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues across the world.
Sometimes, in the heat of self-righteousness or rigid beliefs, we may forget that we share this planet with seven and a half billion other people. We may overlook how our actions here might affect someone we will never meet, thousands of miles away. We can all look up to see the beautiful light of the same moon, but we can’t do it at the same time.
Perhaps it is time to widen our lens and our appreciation for the totality of life on this beautiful planet. These seasonal reminders always offer fresh teachings on the nature of our world and how important it is to play well with others. We have, after all, only one precious sandbox.
Blessings on your journey,
Louisa has always enjoyed writing and is thrilled that she now has a way to share her musings with a larger community of like-minded seekers. Her writing is often an extension and exploration of the struggles she faces in integrating her own spirituality, scholarly study, life experience, and nuggets of brilliance from her teachers in the hopes that it might alchemically transform itself into something approximating wisdom.