Joy and I used to sit on the ground near the front wall stacking rocks into tall cairns, monuments to our patience and nimble fingers. Biggest to smallest from the ground up, thirteen tall was our best attempt ever, starting with a smooth round base and ending with the tiniest of pebbles perched on top. The stones are still out there scattered on the wall and when I go by, I sometimes set them upon each other again, a few here and a few there just so, perhaps a testament to the virtue of balance.
In thinking about balance I have made attempts to cultivate more of it in my life: setting my alarm later than I used to, because that if I sleep that late, I probably needed it. Choosing a walk every morning instead of anything else because morning outside is the best time of day. Attending not to every next thing that presents itself – and living a stream of consciousness, drifting from one distraction to another – but pausing to ask myself if this is the best option for my attention right now.
At the wall I place rock upon rock, gingerly releasing the topmost, testing if it will hold true or topple. Even when it sets, it is not there for long. Unattended, the tower topples by squirrels, wind, or rain. It might be like that in life, too. This notion of balance needs paying attention to so that it stays. Taking a moment or two to set the stones now and again, I keep trying. If it doesn’t hold, I’ll likely go out there to try to put it right again.