I didn’t grow up with the tradition of Rosh Hashana, but it always made perfect sense to me. September always feels like a new beginning. On the equinox, when day and night are in balance, it feels natural to contemplate life, and to revisit the concept of Balance.
The concept of a “balanced life” is usually nebulous and often contradictory. It’s often brought up in the context of someone who does something extraordinary, such as the teenage Olympic gymnists or virtuoso musicians. I hear such things as, “They have to sacrifice too much,” and “They don’t live a Balanced Life.”
I don’t buy this. To me, living a balanced life means spending more time on the things that are important to you than the things that are not. It means enjoying and celebrating your accomplishments and relationships, not obsessing about what you don’t do or should do or might have done. It means setting goals you can achieve, rather than setting yourself up for failure with unrealistic expectations. It means being present in the moment, while being open to the lessons of the past and the possibilities of the future.
There’s another aspect to Mabon, the time when light and dark are in balance. It’s taken me a long time to get past my fear of the dark, to realize that some of the best ideas, the most genuine stories, and the deepest emotions live there. Finding a balance between light and dark is something writers must do if we hope to create stories worth telling. So for these reasons, as well, Mabon is a significant time for me.
Wishing you a day of reflection and renewal, a celebration you’ll find meaningful, and all the beauty autumn brings.