I’ve always heard that you can balance an egg on its end on the day of the Equinox. The word comes from Latin, meaning (not surprisingly) equal, or “equal night.” This twice yearly event (Autumnal and Vernal) falls half-way between the two Solstices, (Summer and Winter) when the sun comes into perfect alignment with the equator and daylight is the same length as darkness. But back to the egg– I’ve never been able to make it work. The truth is that the Equinox really isn’t a day at all–it’s a moment–this year at 10:29pm tonight, to be exact–and it’s nearly impossible to tell at which instant within that moment is the exact point of celestial balance. Then in the very second that it occurs, it begins its journey away once again.
I find this interesting because as humans, we value this elusive thing called balance very highly. We seek it in our daily routine, our diets and exercise, our relationships and our bank accounts. Balancing our bodies in space is how we move about in the physical world. The ancients lauded it, philosophers study it, preachers preach it as the magic elixir to health, wealth and happiness. Like the lighthouse in the distance, we turn towards it as a way out of the darkness when excess has taken us far from shore.
Yet our entire universe is in constant motion, and our lives with it. If the stars and heavens above reach this place of equanimity for only a fraction of a second twice in twelve months, then why do we give ourselves such a hard time when we don’t always hit the mark, or get it all done? For three hundred and sixty three days of the year, our beautiful, exquisite earth does this lopsided dance with the sun–kind of like that egg that won’t stand up–but no matter what, it’s always on its way back towards a brief but brilliant rendezvous with perfect alignment. And I’d like to think that so are we.