Fall Equinox is upon us. When day and night are equal in length. When long summer days give way to earlier sunsets and cooler temperatures. School is back in session. Holidays aren’t here yet (despite store displays to the contrary). It’s that window of time, post-summer, to dig in, to work hard. It’s fourth quarter for many. Budgets begin to get set for next year, along with goals and strategies and vacation schedules. Election season is in full force. The ‘to do’ list of chores before the first snow fall looms. Retailers wring their hands with equal parts anticipation and worry. It’s all enough to send us straight back under the covers. Or to helplessly judge our busyness, knowing we’ll never get it all done.
Before we judge ourselves too harshly, let’s consider what’s happening in the natural world. Equinox is a signal. The light has shifted since summer. Migrators are making test flights. Male Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds have already begun their non-stop flight straight across the Gulf of Mexico!
Those that remain through the cold northern months are equally busy. Have you noticed the squirrel activity lately? Acorns are being stashed away at a relentless pace. Beavers are cutting saplings, sinking them underwater near their homes for winter sustenance. Dens and nests are being reinforced.
Whether skipping town or sticking around, all wildlife is eating as much as possible to go into winter with as much energy as they can. (I’ll pause here so you can let that sink in—if you are finding it harder to control your eating, perhaps you are just being a good mammal.)
All to say, you are part of this beautiful Wild world. Life balance is not simple math or equal time. Life balance, in the larger world, is about living with the seasons. It’s about knowing when and how to expend your energy. Equality would mean you’d spend the same amount of time on all the things that matter to you. Equity has more nuance and flexibility, focusing on when, where, and how you spend your energy. Adjusting and adapting at different times, based on needs.
Life feels overwhelming for a whole lot of us. Most especially this time of year. So as the light in the sky briefly balances between day and night, let me remind you that you are still, at your essence, a Wild thing. Not separate from this beautiful Wild world and the pull of the season. So whether you feel tipped over or on top of the world at any given time, allow yourself the grace of an autumn day. Remember your Wild side, even as you rush to the next item on your endless list.