18 March 2013 a post by Altar Ego

Easter and Equinox

Balance is a precarious thing. To be balanced is to hold a huge amount of potential energy in one succinct moment because balance lasts for only a short time, and in that moment forces are gathered for the journey forward into the next place.

toddler walking

A child gathers and focuses the storm of her forces as for the first time she hauls herself upright using the stability of a table, and to the delight of her parents, she lets go. Wobbling on her tiny frame she remains static, in one place, untouched and able as a smile gathers on her face. Balanced. Just for a moment. Then the potential she has gathered to herself is released as she succumbs once more to the earth and sits back down to the delighted applause of her audience.

For a moment… balance.

But this is insufficient. Balance must give way to more than standing still and, unhindered by expectations, the child desires to grow her balance and her strength until such time as she stands unaided and unmoving. Balance has been achieved once more, its energies gathered ready not just to sit down but to deliberately take the step beyond balance to instability, of imbalance, a point on the journey to a short equilibrium, to lift one foot so that her tiny frame is no longer singly poised but deliberately out of balance. Leaning slightly forward she begins to fall…

...and instinctively moves her foot forward, that this time gravity may not triumph. The potential energy is unleashed as she lands on her first step, momentarily balanced, once more full of potential, before swinging her hind foot forward, deliberately unbalancing herself once more.

Balance is a precarious thing, and that is precisely how it is meant to be, because balance must be that which propels us forward to the next moment. Balance leads to movement.

Balance is a precarious thing: a butterfly that lands on your hand for a moment must be released otherwise all that there is remains static, unmoving, lifeless.

At the spring equinox we sense gathering forces, ready to play themselves out from the moment of perfect balance between the darkness and the light, when the day and the night both equal twelve hours. Winter is losing his fight yet spring has yet to win hers. There is poise and readiness as energy from the strengthening sun unleashes light into a wakening world, eager to be set free, to grow for the season, to release life, to dance, to sing and to become.

It is a reminder to us that balance is achieved only for a moment, and only to gather forces. We must reach forward, stretch ahead, for the moment of balance should only last a moment, as the impetus to propel forward, to a new place.

The death and resurrection of Christ represents just such a balance, with its celebration coming so very soon after the spring equinox. The events of those three days illuminate the gathering of forces in the Son of Man as he stands poised, nailed to a cross. To the onlooker it seems that death has won, that winter remains, that the shoots and buds seen in his earthly ministry must stay closed; frozen in lifelessness to the branch. Yet instead we find his death to be like the first step of a child, poised for a moment, with all creation tottering with him, standing, gazing at that liminal moment of question: now what? Until the triumphant open tomb, the gentle Gardener, the next step, not faltering but running, leaping, dancing, as Jesus the Christ is let loose in the world.

Easter is here, the equinox has passed and light has triumphed. As the days get longer and life colours the earth, may we be reminded that the one who is Lord of Light shows he is also Lord over the dark too. May he direct our motion that any balance or stability we achieve should lead to the-something-in-movement that is an Easter life well-lived.

The Lord is risen.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

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