This quotation below was certainly a mystery to me at age 17. This is an elegant reference to the duality of life, the yin and yang, the give and take, the ups and down, the ins and outs, the good and bad, and more accurately– the fortunate and unfortunate. I wasn’t fully ready to accept this reality of planet earth: east and west, north and south, light and dark until I was a student of spirituality in my 30’s. And then the phrase. “Who’s to say if it (a circumstance) is good or bad?” made sense to me. For instance: A broken leg causing crippling of a soldier might save his or her life.
“Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say,
“Nay, sorrow is the greater.” But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.” ― Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
And certainly winter is on its journey immediately after the summer solstice. Norwegians joke that Christmas is coming on June 22. And the great Anthropological gardener, Alan Chapman said, “The earth shouts, ‘Wake up! Wake up!’ to all of nature at the winter solstice. And as Gibran reminded us: When Joy is sitting at your table, sorrow is sleeping in your bed.
As we age I believe that we can anticipate and enjoy the seesaw of life.
And question: As we become more masterful—do the ups and downs become fewer or just appear less extreme?