Balance: Heaven on earth

Earlier this week we celebrated a time of balance, the moment in which the earth is midway on her path between solstices. Even the word equinox, equal night, denotes balance.

The precise time of the spring equinox was 11:14 pm where I live, so I didn’t mark it with much fanfare. However, 10 hours later, a friend from yoga class accompanied me to a local labyrinth on a hill.

I walked a labyrinth years ago on the autumnal equinox. I am lured to labyrinths as a walking meditation. With a winding path, you don’t really know how long the journey is or how you’ll get to where you’re going. You know only that if you keep putting one foot in front of the other, you will experience it all. The labyrinth itself leads you through and you don’t have to make any decisions other than to move forward (unlike with a maze).

As I walk I find myself wanting to look ahead to the next turn. Each time I gently bring my mind back to the one step I’m on. I find balance everywhere. I’m certain, though I haven’t counted, that the number of left turns is equal to the number of right turns. Some the time I’m walking the inside of the labyrinth and some the time I’m walking the outside of it. I am alternatively inhaling and exhaling. The earth and I are in this exquisite and fleeting moment of balance.

And I am aware of it.

The morning is chilly, about 40 degrees (4° C). Still, I remove one of my jackets and take a perch at the center of the labyrinth on a tree stump. I decide to offer up tree pose with half lotus. Nothing too difficult, but fitting in with the morning’s theme of balance and calm. My friend snaps a photo.


I was surprised later when I saw this photo by the joy on my face. I thought at the instant my friend clicked the shutter that I was fighting amid the shivers  to stay balanced on the stump. But clearly I was in heaven. Rooted yet rising.

Did you do anything special to usher in spring? (Or, for my southern hemisphere friends, autumn?)

9 thoughts on “Balance: Heaven on earth”

  1. We had our annual discussion about the first full day of spring. See, a guy who used to work here likes to quibble. So whenever anyone would say that it was the first day of spring, he would say that it wasn’t the first FULL day off spring, because the equinox happened at (insert time here). But, this time, since it started at ~midnight our time, I figured that yesterday counted as the first full day of spring. Someone emailed him with that, and as it turns out, he’s currently on Eastern time, so he still refuses to acknowledge that it was the first FULL day of spring. This is what happens when you work with people who are obsessed with details.

  2. I love your coat of many colors – great photo! I have only walked labyrinth, much smaller, at a hotel in Scottsdale. But it did provide several moments of calm. I’d love to experience more.

  3. Until I read this post, I had no idea there was a difference between labyrinth and maze. And now that I know, I really want to go walk a labyrinth. I suppose that college would frown on us if we made a labyrinth out of stones in our spot next time you’re out here… right?

  4. How awesomely cool – where is this Lori? I would have loved to have done something this neat . Maybe next year 😉
    BTW, love the photo- you look your usual amazing self lady!

  5. Like Mel, I didn’t know the difference between a maze and labyrinth (or that there was one). I too would like to experience walking through one some day.

    I didn’t do anything special to welcome spring, as the weather here in Chicago then was really more like summer. But I know my family and I spent a lot of time enjoying the sunny days and warm temperatures going for bike rides and playing in the yard.

    Gorgeous photo and love that joy radiating from you.

  6. I didn’t do anything to welcome spring but we are trying to get all our flower beds set up. We’ve been clearing out old mulch and dirt but our yard waste bin only holds so much so it’s been slow going. I can’t wait till we actually get to plant our flowers and veggies 🙂

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