Saturday, May 9, 2009

Finding that sacred balance

As I was driving out yesterday I passed this big guy perched on a telephone pole above our mailboxes. We're all so conditioned to think of the eagles as endangered that we tend to get excited when we see them, but the sad fact is that -- here, at least -- they are NOT endangered, and, in fact, there are too many of them living around the lagoon, and they decimated our heron population last year.

It used to be that I could count over 80 herons on those few days in March when the flock flew in to lay their eggs in the nesting ground by the graveyard on the hill above us. And even though many of those moved on within a week or two, we could guarantee between 10 and 20 fishing in the tide flats for the rest of the summer. But today's a low low tide, and I only see one lone heron out there.

Which is, I guess, to say that things are always in flux in the natural world -- I'm thinking now of that Blood Sweat and Tears song -- "What goes up must come down; spinning wheel got to go round." There is a natural ebb and flow to animal populations, to tides, to emotions... and so often our natural impulse is to resist, to interfere, to stiffen ourselves against the change and cling to what was.

But I think that's because we tend to identify too closely with our circumstances: as we grow more and more detached from our sacred inner core, we become more and more dependent on our external surroundings for our identity. Which makes me think of something I read in Anam Cara this morning:

"There is the lovely story of the wolf-spider, which never builds its web between two hard objects like two stones. If it did this, the web would be rent by the wind. Instinctively, it builds its web between two blades of grass. When the wind comes, the web lowers with the grass until the wind has passed, then it comes back up and finds its point of balance and equilibrium.

These are beautiful images for a mind in rhythm with itself... when we tighten or harden our views or beliefs, we lose all the softness and flexibility that makes for real shelter, belonging and protection. Sometimes the best way of caring for your soul is to make flexible again some of the views that harden and crystallize your mind; for these alienate you from your own depth and beauty."

There will always be windy days and rough times coming into our lives -- often when we least expect it. But we have this wonderful option of staying flexible; an option which makes it easier, when that web of existence is forced almost to the bottom, to rise again and re-establish equilibrium. And I believe it is far easier to do that when we are in touch with that sacred inner core. When we are attuned to our own part of the divine web of being and less attached to the forms that surround us, we learn to trust that we are treasured, loved and cared for, and that those winds will eventually die away and we will again find our true balance, just as our animal populations will again find a balance. I suspect, now that there are no heron nests to raid, the eagles will move on and eventually the herons will return.

It's all good.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh so beautifully said and sooo perfect for my morning!