October 3, 2022

We are living examples of balance.  Biologically our systems have to maintain homeostasis for us to exist in a healthy state. Perhaps for some, it is something taken for granted in day to day life. Anything in excess can be unhealthy or have a poor outcome. For example, if I stopped at 7-11 every day and bought the Milky Way candy bar I love, perhaps my system might react in some unbalanced manner like stomach upset or weight gain. How about when your washing machine’s load is unbalanced? The machine shimmies, shakes and bangs.  But this is neither a lesson in biology nor mechanics, it’s just a circuitous way to talk about the value of balance.

As the 3rd and 4th grade Seedlings were emmeshed in play at Stickland, they demonstrated how difficult achieving balance can be.  After creating slack lines with ropes and swings with ropes and bark, the central focus became a long log which had been made into a see-saw. The children persevered to find balance on the log, so that both sides were off the ground at the same time, at an even height. Not an easy feat. Just as balance in our lives is no easy feat.

It became a sophisticated game of give and take with each child walking on the tilted log until both sides were lifted off the ground. Different kids visited, tried it and left. When necessary the balancers invited others to join. It reminded me of the old plastic scale used to teach addition.  If you hung a number five on one side and numbers one and four on the other you had symmetry.

The laughter, screams, and repetition continued steadily until finally the log was parallel to the ground. Even! Balance achieved! There were cautious cries of joy so the balance would not be upset.  Ever so carefully, they held their arms out to their sides to prevent a fall.  It was a lot of work but they did it.

So how does one achieve balance in anything? I suppose we can learn from the kids.  It takes finding a goal, trying, failing, trying, failing, and perhaps achieving success!