Yesterday, June 20, marked the summer solstice for this year. It is high noon, the time when the day is longest and the sun is at its most northern point. And now that I say that I wonder if it is true for the whole world or just the northern hemisphere. After all, this is winter time down under. Is it therefore the shortest day in Australia and Argentina? Does, perhaps the longest day for the Aussies come in the winter?
Although there will be many days this summer that are hotter, there will not be any days that are longer (for us). Already the astronomical scales are tipping towards winter. Darkness is once again gaining ascendancy.
This is the classic image of yin and yang – within light there is darkness, and within darkness is light. Life is constantly swinging from one declension to its opposite. The key to the ride is maintaining balance and poise which means not to identify or favor one condition over the other.
There are times in our lives when we get on a roll and everything seems to turn out wonderfully. We have a decent job, a partner and family, enough money and good health. We hope the ride will last indefinitely, but it never does. By the same token, there are times when nothing seems to go right, when everything we try seems to fail and we hope the ride will soon be over, and it is eventually.
It is the same process in operation – change – but in one case we label it good and want it to continue, and in the other case we label it bad and want it to end. Both reactions are inappropriate because we are identifying our happiness, or unhappiness, with external conditions and thereby chaining ourselves to circumstance. We are focusing on the content rather than the context.
Frequently, we do not have the broad perspective on our lives and label certain incidents or circumstances as bad, little realizing that these challenges, if accepted without resentment, offer us great opportunities for growth and maturity. As Ramana Marhashi said, You thank God for the good things that come to you, but you don’t thank Him for the things that seem to be bad; that is where you go wrong.
The celestial events such as the solstices and equinox, mark an opportunity to reflect on the pendulum of life and its changes. It is not our role to determine the trajectory, speed or direction of change but to be fully present, centered and aware so that we can be in perfect balance with the unfolding of the moment.