A Spring Equinox teaching: Equanimity in motion

At the Spring Equinox, we honor this time of equal light and dark, and equal sorrow and joy.

Darkness, sorrow and death have their place in the natural cycle of things, as do light, joy and birth. The wild realm reflects this truth as it morphs its way through the shifting seasons. But we humans can dig in our heels, clinging to darkness and sorrow, grasping at light and joy, and tipping easily in one direction or the other.

Where is our equanimity, our balance? When is it time to turn our focus inward, to darkness, sorrow and death-like endings? When do we leave these things behind and truly bask in light, joy and the wonder of new beginnings? How do we learn to ride the seasons of our life as effortless and gorgeously as the green-growing world?

Outside my window, sunlight filters through evergreen branches, casting a luminescent green hue over my woodland viewscape. The answers to these questions are there, in the forest realm and the ways of Nature.

All things are present always.

In the rich humus of the forest floor, death and life co-mingle. Seed cones lie side by side with rotting trunks. Layers upon layers of decomposing organic matter feed tiny saplings and towering elder trees. Roots dig deep into the dark belly of the Earth while branches reach high into the sunlit skies. Night and day both govern the daily patterns of forest life.

We are no different. Parents age and leave this world as their children bear children. Sorrow and loss help us love deeper and choose wiser; like compost they can enrich and feed our life experiences. Light and dark, sleeping and waking, introspection and action, govern the patterns of our everyday. All things are present always.

The forest is equanimity in motion. It is an ever shifting balance of darkness and death with light and life. With the change of season, one state naturally steps into the foreground as the other recedes, but neither ever totally replaces the other, and both are absolutely interdependent.

Our life is a shifting balance of personal seasons.

There will be times when darkness, sorrow and death need to be in the foreground, but light, joy and life are present too, holding and softening our suffering. And other times, when the sun is shining bright and life is good and delicious, and we need to give ourselves over to these wonders, knowing that our sorrows and challenges make the high points all the more poignant and precious.

Nothing we are going through will last forever, nor will it be forgotten.

Our life is woven of light and dark, and joy and sorrow; it is made up of death and birth moments. All these things are equally present, equally essential, though in different measures at different times. They make us strong, resilient, complex and wise. By accepting these truths and letting them guide us, we can find our balance; we can become equanimity in motion.

Excerpt from: The Path of She Book of Sabbats: A Journey of Soul Across the Seasons. To find out more, visit The Path Store.

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