Summer withered grass to flaxen yellow,
Scorched leaves to brittle paper,
Dried lakes to cracked clay.
Chill autumn brought little relief —
Only frosted the devastation.
But with the early gentle rains,
The earth’s fissures softened
And desiccated plants began to dissolve.
Slowly, balance comes once again.
Many cultures describe old people as having seen many winters. Those elders have seen many cycles come and go, and their wisdom comes from long observation of life’s rising and falling.
If we have a long-range view, then we realize that equilibrium comes in the course of nature’s progression. Nature does not achieve balance by keeping to one level. Rather, elements and seasons alternate with one another in succession. Balance, as defined by Tao, is not stasis but a dynamic process of many overlapping alternations; even if some phases seem wildly excessive, they are balanced by others.
Everything has its place. Everything has its season. As events turn, balance is to know what is here, what is coming, and how to be in perfect harmony with it. Then one attains a state of sublimity that cannot be challenged.