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Point of Balance – Autumnal Equinox

September 22, 2011

A puff of wind and flutters of pale yellow leaves drift from the alder trees outside my window. My favorite maple has begun dressing herself in crimson hues, the gorgeous raiment still hanging on tightly, determined to show off until the winter storms begin.  A few late blackberries offer their plump bodies as I walk by and I give thanks to the vines and pop the gift into my mouth. They still taste like summer, although not quite as sweet as their sun-drenched August predecessors, now resting in jam jars and in bags in the freezer.

The Autumnal Equinox has arrived, one of the two times of the year in the Sun’s journey, where there are equal times of day and night. The Equinox is an in-between time, a point of balance, of standing on the center of the teeter-totter board. On one side are the exultant, warm, long-light days of the Summer Solstice; on the other, the quiet, meditative, cold, darkest days of the Winter Solstice. Behind us, external light, exuberant growth, bursting out all over; ahead of us, external darkness, contemplation, dreaming, going within to find the needed light.

As we stand in this point of balance, it’s time to slow down and gather around us the fruits of our harvest to enjoy with friends, family, and clan. Summer has been a time of movement and activity, a time of doing and going. Winter will be slower and call us inward. Autumn is the time to move from one to the other, taking the time to be in gratitude for what the light of summer has given and prepare ourselves for the impending dark and the dreaming to come.

There have always been festivals and celebrations at the turning points on the Wheel of the Year because those turnings are reflections of the Earth’s cycles and we are a part of the planet. We humans have moved far from being in synch with those cycles; we light the Winter and cool the Summer, we grow summer fruits in hot houses in January and warm pools of water to frolic in the cold. Our ingenuity allows us to blur the distinctions between the seasons but also obscures the blessings that each turning point brings and sends us drifting ever further from harmony with the changes of our planet home.

The Fairies, being spirits of nature and Children of the Earth, are always tuned to the Earth’s cycles. For them, this point of balance brings a moment to pause and give thanks for the harvest, to honor the plant world that has taken the gift of light and turned it into fruits to sustain life through the winter. The harvest will continue – there are still apples to pick, and nuts to gather. The last of the tomatoes and corn still hurry to soak up the remaining sun and ripen. But the change of the season has come. After today, there will be more hours of darkness than light so the Children of the Earth pause and dance in the moment of balance.

What are you harvesting in this season? What fruits that you planted in the spring and summer are still on the vine, waiting for you to gather them in? Can you feel the change in the air, the shift of the light? Do you sense your own place of balance? As the sun hovers directly over the equator, balancing light and dark in the world, pause for a moment, as though you’re standing in the center of a teeter totter, right above the fulcrum point, and feel how with a breath the board can move one direction or another. Can you find the point of balance between your inside and outside world? How do you balance your internal needs with your external commitments? How much quiet time do you allow yourself and how much of your life is filled with activity? How well do you accept the gifts of the harvest and how do you share your bounty?

The Autumnal Equinox is an ideal moment to find and contemplate how balance serves you in your life. When the Earth is in balance, your body, which was made from her, can find its balance as well. Any of the turning points of the year are a perfect time to reconnect with the Earth Mother and with her Fairy children, the Spirits of Nature. Find the balance between the love of nature in your heart and the actions that support the health of the Earth.

May you have a blessed harvest season.

–Bridget Wolfe

There’s a Fairy Woodland Fairy House called “Point of Balance.”

  See more photos and read the story.

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