In my original post on humanity as part of the Star Frost moon, I mentioned this question:
What do you quest from the relationship? […] Is the relationship in balance?
And that’s really stuck with me. A couple of times, I’ve take time out to consciously think about it. And, of course, I’m not going to find an answer right away. But, after the positive experience I had my first time meditating, I decided to try it again. Though Buddha didn’t appear in front of me and give me an answer, the experience brought me a step closer.
First realization: ‘balance’ is different in different relationships.
I was really frustrated at the question of whether or not my relationship to the Earth was in balance. Because it clearly isn’t, not in the way that an accountant would understand balance. There are uncountably more debits on my account with the Earth than there are credits. And the futility of ‘getting back into balance’ made me think about giving up.
Then I had the realization that most relationships aren’t about balance in that sense. My wife definitely gives me more than I give her. (Let’s be glad she doesn’t read this, eh?) I give my kids much more than they give me. I think that both my boss and I give each other less than we should. Balance, in a relationship, doesn’t mean giving just as much as you get. Balance means both parties getting what they want or need from a relationship.
Second realization: my relationship to the Earth is not between equals.
It might seem unneccessary to say this, but I wasn’t bright enough to think of it without investing quite a bit of time. My frustration was with the futility of reaching balance as I understood it between equals. But, when I realized I feel that my relationship to my kids is in balance, in spite of the fact that I give much more — in material terms — than I receive.
And I can strive to be a child of the Earth.
What does that mean? I don’t know. But, I know that I don’t want my children to waste my resources, to treat my other children (or other people) with disrespect. It’s harder to admit to expecting something in return: that model of parenting seems out of date. But I know what I get from my children that makes it all worthwhile: a sense of wonder, their willingness to help me see the world anew almost every day, their unfiltered, honest experience of every day.
I certainly don’t think I know how to do this, but I think I can strive to approach the Earth as a child. To offer it my wonder, my unfiltered self. I hope to not waste her resources, to treat her other children with respect.
That’s a goal I can set myself. There’s a long way to go before I reach that kind of goal. I know that setting a goal doesn’t mean the work is done. But, I’m comforted by the idea that it might be possible.