“It’s all about balance, do you see? Balance is the trick. Keep the balance and—” she stopped. “You’ve ridden on a seesaw? One end goes up, one end goes down. But the bit in the middle, that stays where it is. Upness and downness go right through it. Don’t matter how high or low the ends go, it keeps the balance.” She sniffed. “Magic is mostly movin’ stuff around.” – Granny Weatherwax
― Terry Pratchett, Wintersmith
Balance. Something that is hard to find these days. Something that most people don’t think about too often, at least not consciously. And yet we do our best subconsciously to balance, every day, with the choices that we make. We do this while corporations are trying to advertise that bigger is better or smaller is better, depending on the item. Balancing life can be tricky, what with bills, chores, work, play, relationships, sleep, exercise, and spiritual work. It’s a lot to juggle. Many times we find ourselves overwhelmed. Or we think that we’ve got things balanced until an unexpected random event happens that tilts you off-kilter.
And then there are times that we reach the precipice of a phase of life that no longer fits us, but we haven’t fully fallen into the next phase. I’m currently watching this play out in my home as I observe my three children balance, teetering on the edges of different childhood phases, some more extreme than the others. My oldest son, Ostara-born, is a good example of balance. At seventeen, he has one foot set in childhood while the other has set down on the path to adulthood. He still has to be told to go to bed (often repeatedly). He still goes to school and deals with homework. He still gets into trouble once in a while. He still whines, although he would counter that he does not whine, he merely “debates”. He also is looking toward the future, which is careening towards him at 65 mph—and he’s not sure that he’s comfortable with all of the responsibility that comes with the power of adulthood. But he is taking the steps to learn what he needs to know, and that is a good first step. He is not an adult yet. But he is not a child either. He is balanced on either side, not quite fitting into one or the other, liminal, momentary, precious.
Liminal times are magical times, neither fully one thing nor the other, yet a little bit of both. It is the time when everything blends together, wet paint put to canvas ready to be brushed into a masterpiece. Watching a sunrise at dawn or a sunset that fades into twilight evokes not only a sense of beauty, but of awe. And if you sit silently and just be during those times, you can feel a slight shift—and for just one single moment, everything stills. All is balanced. And then it is gone.
Balance is important. We equally need the light to shine upon the earth, as we do the rain to soak the soil and the seed within it in order to live. We need the night and the day. We need winter and summer. The earth would not be what it is today without both sides of the coin. We would not be here to witness and to celebrate the power of balance. And we would not be here to seek our personal balance. When I can find that balance within myself, that one moment where I am standing right in the middle of the seesaw, and the moment moves through me? That’s powerful. That’s clarifying. That’s illuminating. That’s magic.
We honor all of this at Ostara, as the light and dark share equal time together for a short while. We honor the Earth’s moment of balance. We honor the introspections we have gathered over the dark winter nights. We honor the new intentions that we have created and are ready to put into action for the growing season of the year. We honor the potential of the next step.
The next time you catch yourself in that liminal moment of balance, be it a beautiful sunset or something within your life, or even one that you purposely sought, take a part of it, and give thanks that we are able to join in such magical moments as these. And when the Earth finds its balance one more time this year at Mabon, let us celebrate that powerful moment together.
– Brittany B