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Both Sides of the Moon

It is interesting how tranquility and agitation walk so closely together. They are not yin and yang; instead, they seem to be opposing forces. I can be drawn into one feeling and trick myself into thinking that it is my dominant state of mind before the other takes over.

Some days I feel an utter and complete sense of peacefulness and centeredness within me. I can be still for a long period of time, without thoughts coming into my mind to distract me. I have worked hard to find zen in my life; much of it comes from nature and my connection to the natural world.

And then, I can also spin, almost out of my own control. It is as if the tranquility I experience is jettisoned far from me. My thoughts can almost overwhelm me and they certainly do overwhelm my sense of peace and calm.

I know I write a lot about birds because that is what I immerse myself in so often. A Pekin duck will wrap its long neck backwards across its back, tuck its bill under a wing and close its eyes. The picture of complete harmony and stillness is moving to watch. It fills you with a sense of calm and serenity.

At the same time, guinea fowl can be running up and down the fence line, constantly screeching. They make a sound of complete agitation, as though they are screaming "The sky is falling!" They are the polar opposites of the ducks, always running as though something is chasing is them. They put agitation into the air, discord through the universe around them.

That is the metaphor for my life. My peace can be broken quickly these days, from a CoVid variant to news of devastation after tornadoes. Tranquility is tenuous, I have learned. My goal is to extend the pause between what makes me feel at peace and what makes me feel out-of-control. That pause is the sweet spot we all need.

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