as i walked down the houseware aisle toward the cat food, i spied a nymph-of-a-cashier carefully turning the cans of cat food into columns of symmetry. this meditative practice is often referred to as "facing" in the retail world. i spent a good lot of my time at work doing this to antioxidants, omegas, and the like. this cashier however, had a pensive countenance and her movements were slow and measured. this is not the usual approach to facing a store. it is often a much more harried task, so i felt compelled to inquire.
now this cashier is especially faerie-like. she may be the quintessential cashier for a health food cooperative store. her hair is wispy, light and often has fragrant flower blossoms or found feathers laying in it's haphazard curls. her eyes are a piercing blue but her lids are heavy. she is slight in build and has freckles on her nose. her name is not common. she isn't named after a plant or a state of being - as the stereotype might suggest - but you probably wouldn't be entirely sure how to pronounce her name if you saw it on her name tag. she is kind and genuine. i'm pretty sure when she sleeps butterflies make moss beds on her pillow to slumber near her.
i wasn't completely surprised when she told me that at that moment she was thinking that "it" was all about balance. "it" being life, not facing - although if you have ever dared to enter the tetris-like task of facing the tea-box-wall then you know that facing is also all about balance. she continued to talk a bit about balance - the need to not swing to far to one side or the other.
in my own balancing act i have found that when i make a sudden move, there will be an equally forceful movement in an opposing way. while if i made smaller nudges then the pendulum doesn't hit me in the ass on the way back to me.
i immediately thought of the yin-yang symbol when the faerie-of-cashierland said "balance" because this symbol is often used in my parenting conversations, more so perhaps than most, because i have a very emotional child who can go to extremes in his reactions - clearly a genetic lark.
the way the swirls suggest motion and a cycle. the spot of light within the dark and vice versa. the small points when light turns to dark and then dark back to light.
constant circular movement creates balance.
and i fight like hell against this most of the time. when things are good, i want to stop the clock and just keep it good. for. ev. er. i want laundry to stay clean. i want money to stay in the bank. i don't want to have to buy more cat food a month from now. and i certainly do not want to talk about something that has already been talked about before. yes, ironically i want exactly what i fear the most: stagnation.
but, as the cashier-faerie demonstrated with her towers of cat vittles and her twinkling eyes - it is all about balance. even when things comes crashing down and land on your exposed toes, it is still about balance.
even when your checkbook is not balanced and your bounce several checks to the place you work - it is still about balance.
even when you try to bring in your purse, the library books, and the rotten food at the same time and fail at this attempt. yup, balance. again, when i say "you" what i mean is "me."
riding a bike. taking a shower. comforting a child. making a meal. asking for help. going to sleep. sun down. sun up.
over and over.