I woke up this morning, my mind thinking it was early, while the alarm clock informed me that I was an hour late. The windows said that it was cold and rainy. Spring has sprung us forward time-wise, the accompanying weather is both a test of patience and a promise of flowers.
And as I watched the drizzle make lines down the glass, I realized that the intermediary months teach us much.
I’ve said it before, humans are habitual creatures. We love to look forward the happy milestones in life: birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and the change in seasons. We throw confetti on New Year’s, hang up paper hearts on Valentine’s, and wear green in observance of St. Patrick’s Day.
The cycle of life repeats in the same pattern each year, but the time in-between gives just enough space to garner admiration for what has passed. The same way we’re yearning for pumpkin spice everything in the fall, by the time spring rolls around, we’re eager to bust out the plastic eggs again.
|Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Or rather, more appreciative.|
Even when the celebration isn’t a personal favorite. For some, the summer heat and bright sparklers at 4th of July is the best, whiles others would much rather curl up with a cup of hot chocolate and watch the snow falling outside. The chill of winter makes you long for the warmth of the mid-summer sun, and the over-bearing heat makes you miss making snow angels. It's a circle - a cycle.
Recent events got me thinking about this principle.
In life, there are both up and down times. The moments when you feel on top of the world are balanced with low periods, times where you have to scrape by financially, emotionally, and physically.
In Tarot, there’s a card called “The Wheel of Fortune” that sums up this idea.
Similar to a water wheel, the image shows a thriving couple dancing at the top of the circle, while a second, less fortunate man seems to have lost his balance, and is forcefully thrown from the bottom of the loop.
Tarot books give this card a dual description. Like the couple living the life at the apex of the wheel, this could be a high note time for you. Work you’ve done may have paid off, extra money may be rolling in, or things with family and friends may be in a good place. The other side of coin leaves you with the man at the bottom, taking a wrong step and facing a steep fall.
The overall meaning is that in life, prosperity and hardship are parallel ends of the same spectrum. Sometimes you are riding high, other times you’re keeping your head above water. But in either circumstance, the presence of the opposing force should stay with you. When you are fortunate, the memory of hard times should infuse you with a sense of gratitude and humility for what you have gained. When you are down on your luck, the longing for better circumstances should instill in you an appreciation for the value of the pleasures in life. That way you'll appreciate them more when they manifest for you again.
Like the 1960’s song, TURN TURN TURN, by the band The Byrds. There is “A time to build up, a time to break down, a time to dance, a time to mourn… a time to every purpose under heaven.” So while you may encounter a tough period in life, the challenge and loss is constructive.
Life events test and define you.
A movie I caught on cable the other day illustrated the point brilliantly. Although the two emotions appear polarized, joy benefits from sadness. One can’t exist without the other. And the big events in life contain both happiness and pain.
The lesson is: If you find yourself next to the thrown man at the bottom of the wheel, don’t despair. The circle continues to turn, so keep climbing – move with the cycle.
You’ll be back on top before you know it.
- SNG ;)