The yin and the yang, the bitter and sweet

Two complementary principles of Chinese philosophy: Yin is negative, dark, and feminine, Yang positive, bright, and masculine. Their interaction is thought to maintain the harmony of the universe and to influence everything within it

[from Chinese (Peking) yin  dark + yang  bright]
World English Dictionary
Despite the fact that multitudes of twenty-somethings now have this tattooed on some part of their bodies, I have always liked the yin-yang symbol - it resonates with me.  (And please, don't say "ying"-yang;  it makes Dear Husband's ears bleed.)  I don't think it's a perfect symbol, as it breaks down when stretched too far (God is good; He is all good.  There is no darkness in Him.)  However,  the symbol does work.

There seems to be a lot of this yin-yang going on around the house right now.  Curly-haired daughter is enjoying her senior year of high school, but almost lamenting the fact that she didn't enjoy the first two years, when she chose to be a bit of a social recluse.

We just sent Youngest Son off to his first semi-formal dance last night.  It was fun watching him struggle into a tie and tuck in his shirt repeatedly, but I couldn't help but wonder how in the world he managed to get so....old.  He's my baby, you know?

We are struggling financially (which seems to have been going on since the beginning of time), and yet, we both have good jobs, food in the house, a roof over our heads (please, God, don't let the roof leak!).  It's a constant source of stress and yet, we are....okay.

Marriage certainly has its yin-yang moments:  one spouse is stressed and negative, the other tries to balance that - a constant search for harmony and balance.

Even the seasons here in Michigan are getting in on the act.  We had a glorious Indian summer, and now it's truly fall - blustery, blowy, rainy, chilly.  We know what's ahead, and are trying to stretch out these autumn days.

Of course, Scripture acknowledges this very thing in Ecclesiastes:
A time to give birth, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.

A time to kill, and a time to heal;

a time to tear down, and a time to build.

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them;

a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.

A time to seek, and a time to lose;

a time to keep, and a time to cast away.

A time to rend, and a time to sew;

a time to be silent, and a time to speak.

A time to love, and a time to hate;

a time of war, and a time of peace.

We want to cling to the now and the known, but we can't.  We wish to hold onto and keep, but we can't.  We would lose all sense of balance and harmony, all sense of appreciation of the now, and even worse, the joy of memory (exactly the reason Alzheimer's frightens us so badly).  We have to learn to stand right here, in the wavy line between light and dark, known and unknown, harmony and cacophony, negative and positive - and still be joyful.  We have to balance the yin and the yang, the bitter and the sweet - and know it is where life it lived.


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