Balance in Contrast
Updated: Sep 24
Yesterday, September 22, was a big day. It was My Birthday and it was the Autumnal Equinox and it was HOBBIT DAY (!)
Whaaaat???!!!??? Yes - go ahead and look it up! Every year, on September 22, my birthday is also nationally recognized as "Hobbit Day"!
The American Tolkien Society first proclaimed Hobbit Day in 1978. How did they choose September 22 to represent Hobbit Day you ask? Well, evidently, September 22 is the birthday of the hobbits Bilbo AND Frodo Baggins (!!!!) Whaaaat??!?? You can imagine my surprise and delight when I stumbled upon the fact that not only is my birthday also "Hobbit Day", but that I share a birthday with BOTH famous Hobbits(!) Wow.
For those of you who have been following along with the blog, you know that one of the four characters I use to give shape to this blog is The Hobbit. And you know that The Hobbit character's topics and tendencies are shaped after my husband. My husband is The Hobbit in our home.
As defined in my first 'Hobbit' blog post, "The Hobbit’s super-power lies in the ability to expertly mix a balance of meaningful, mindful routine with an appreciation for the finer details that make the mundane moments beautiful ... The Hobbit adds layers of texture and delight to the forgotten corners of the day. The Hobbit is a master at celebrating both big and small moments, which turns life into an adventure and our house into an inspiration."
This definition brings me to the interesting fact that J.R.R. Tolkien chose the birth date for both hobbits to land on the Autumnal Equinox. The Autumnal equinox is one of two moments in the year when day and night are equal in length. Equal parts day and night. Equal parts light and dark. Balance in contrast.
I chose 'Balance in Contrast' as this week's topic within the month's theme of 'The Healing Home' because balance in contrast is perhaps the most potent healing mode for me personally. The idea of balance in contrast shines a light on the importance of having a hobbit around when you tend toward non-hobbit ways. (As I noted in a recent blog post, I tend toward non-hobbit ways. I am a Virgo, and I like to work.) If left to my own devices, I might just work-work-work all day, every day. I would forget to eat. I might even forget to sleep. I would certainly forget to relax and smell the flowers or play the music or light the candles. I need to balance my days with a contrast to my nose-to-the-grindstone work. I need Beauty, Play, and Rest.
Thank goodness I have a hobbit to help me remember those things. There was a time, however, when I didn't know my hobbit yet, and boy was I skinny! I remember yearning for nourishment during the months leading up to meeting my hobbit. I couldn't quite articulate it, but I knew I needed a deeper level of nourishing. Before meeting my hobbit, I was eating 3-ish meals a day. And I was sleeping 6-8ish hours each night. I was taking care of myself, and I was "healthy". But - as soon as I met my hobbit it was clear what "nourishment" I was missing: honoring and celebrating the small moments by adding layers of texture and delight into the forgotten corners of our days and our home. Lighting the candles, playing the music, smelling the flowers. Noticing the hidden beauty all around and every where. That is what hobbits do best, and that is what feeds our soul.
My hobbit is an incredible cook, but it's not just the flavor of the food that he brings to our awareness. He often holds up a small leaf he's been chopping or a little dish of ground herbs for us to inhale and take in the scent - or he'll hold up a steak before it has been cooked to point out the beautiful marbling of the meat - or he'll point out the vibrancy in color of a vegetable. He'll point it out, give us a minute to tune into our senses, and then he'll say "Neat, Right?"
And, on the occasion that my hobbit wakes before I do, he will gather a flower from our yard and arrange it on the breakfast counter with my other morning necessities. An instant reminder to pause and savor the beautiful morning moment before I dive into one of my projects.
But Hobbits are not only great at resting and playing and adventuring. They're also very dutiful and responsible. The hobbit is the one you can rely on to capture the precious stone from the dragon. And it's the hobibit that you can rely on to rid the world of the evil ring once and for all. They get the job done. Hobbits represent the epitomy of balance in contrast.
We need both. We need work and play. We need action and rest. We need adventure and quiet time. We need a balance in contrast in our homes, our days, and our lives.
We need to plant the seeds, till the soil, harvest the crops, and rest long enough to savor the nourishment of our hard-won rewards. This is what hobbits stand for.
Happy belated Hobbit Day, and happy belated Autumnal Equinox! Wishing you delightful moments of balance in contrast throughout your home and across your days.
"The greater the contrast, the greater the potential. Great energy only comes from a correspondingly great tension of opposites."
- Carl Jung
"From dawn to dusk, winter to spring, summer & autumn; the contrasts of nature refresh the mind & renew our sense of balance." - Phil Harding, british archaeologist