Creating Balance


In the winter of 1976 my life as I knew it, was beginning to unravel and I felt completely out of balance. I was ricocheting from side to side, down the tunnel of life, trying to keep myself and my children from harm’s way, and missing out on all the pleasures in the middle — the sweet rewards of a simple, more straightforward life.

At about the same time my father was going to Costa Rica to visit his brother for a month, and my mother didn’t want to go along, and suggested I go in her place. She would take care of my kids — take them to school, to ice skating lessons, cook and clean for them, etc. — a real grandmother’s holiday!!

So, upon landing in Costa Rica I was handed a Spanish/English dictionary by my uncle’s housekeeper, Miriam Abarca Rojas, so that she and I could communicate while my father and uncle had their visit.

Seeking balance in my life, I immediately looked up the word in Spanish, imagining it would be a most wonderful word, totally unlike its English counterpart. Imagine my dismay, and then my relief, when I found was exactly the same word: balance — only pronounced a little differently: BA-LAN-SAY.

This poem of mine is found in my book HEARTSTRINGS, on page 42. Enjoy!


Perhaps the single most important challenge
In life is for you to maintain
A balance as you make your way along the path —
A balance that is tricky to obtain.

Between dark and light — between spirit and form —
It’s not a choice between extremes.
The challenge is bringing the two together
Into a larger unity, with bigger themes.

You don’t have to choose either conformity or freedom.
Both are appropriate at different times;
And listening to words with acceptance or doubt
Has its place in different paradigms.

It’s not one over the other — black or white.
It’s seeing what’s appropriate when choosing.
It’s a balancing act that plays with opposites,
And takes time and thoughtful perusing.