The Balance of Nature


Somehow I managed to finagle a spot in the shade to do my work. I temporarily moved my office to a wrought iron table on a gorgeous patio in the shade of an elm tree. The summer sun and beautiful breeze was just begging for me to immerse myself in nature and get out of the office bubble, if only for an afternoon. I can hear kids playing in the surf from where I sit and birds are singing a symphony for what feels like my ears only.

We get so caught up in the push and pull of life and work, the balance that so many people talk about but few actually achieve. Is there such thing as complete and total balance? Of course not! It’s never all or nothing. No one can be that structured, that precise, that diligent to make sure that each aspect and area of their life receives the appropriate amount of attention. We are human beings, not pie charts. We are living, breathing, fallible beings. Plans are not kept, schedules are broken and somewhere along the line something loses out. What we need to do is make sure that the thing that loses out most often is that which does not bring us pleasure. We need to err on the side of joy. Lean towards the joy, the happiness, the peace and the tranquility. Whatever gives us that nurturing of our soul and mind is what should always win out. Yes, this is difficult, tremendously so, but it is also imperative. I believe summer is a great equalizer. We may not have balance year round. We may spend too many hours in the office and then rush to put dinner on the table, finally squeezing in a television show or a chapter from a good book, if we’re lucky. But summer is a time when things slow down. Lazy days of summer were appropriately named. We need to give in to the beautiful sunshine beckoning to us from our windows and follow our hearts to the sea. We need to listen to the birds and join them in their symphony of joy.

UPDATE: Literally, the minute I finished typing this, a hummingbird landed next to my laptop. Do I need a better sign that I am completely in balance…for the moment?




I would rather live in a world where my life is surrounded by mystery than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it.

– Harry Emerson Fosdick


I found this quote the other day on Lindsey Mead’s website, A DESIGN SO VAST. I visit her site frequently to read her beautiful and poignant musings on life, the sometimes melancholic ebb and flow of our daily existence. I loved this quote because it is calming, reassuring and allows me to see my often chaotic and confusing life as an exciting mystery to be understood. This is what I love about writing. A famous writer once said, “Everything is material,” and this is not only true but comforting. It allows you to open your eyes to the daily events, both good and bad, and try to decipher what can be gleaned from these experiences. What can you learn from a fight with a friend, a difficult client, an exhaustion that seems to overtake you? What can you learn from disappointment, heartbreak, fear and sadness? What can you learn from pure joy and exhilaration? Everything has something to teach. Everything. And it is up to us to use these moments. To pull everything we can from them. To suck the marrow out of life and get our hands dirty trying to understand each passing moment. Reflection is key to understanding and accepting the mystery of life. I love that my life is so big and complicated and complex that I find myself trying to understand the events and obstacles that surround me. I love that things aren’t easy, that my life has struggle, because when the beauty comes, when the peaceful, wonderful moments come, I absorb them fully. More than most. I never want that to change. I never want to stop reflecting on this beautiful, wild, complicated, mysterious life that I live. This unpredictable, sometimes upsetting, unbelievably beautiful and never boring life that I live.

Summer is just starting to settle and the days are stretching out before me. We have had so much rain, impossibly cold rain that makes me feel like we are still in the depths of winter. But then we have days like today, when the sun shines so brilliantly and the earth is warm and inviting. On days like this I look around and see that everything is in bloom. The peonies are blossoming with brilliant pinks, the leaves of my azalea bushes are tinged with flowers and the hydrangea buds are bursting at their seams. I take this time to reflect on all the rain we have had and recognize that without the rain, these flowers and blossoms and blooms and buds would not be possible. Without the rain, there would be no beauty.