by Beverly Hobbs Shea As I watch the collection of retired corks mount in their crystal home on my kitchen counter, I’m often torn between embarrassment at the amount accumulated and the relief that there’s still an equal amount of empty apace remaining. Call it “safe space” or “temperance,” it speaks “balance” to me. We hear a lot about balance. Balance in work and play, balance in politics, religion, and time commitments. Everywhere we look and in everything we hear, we’re reminded to create balance – that special equilibrium that shows up in how we live both with ourselves and with others. Although obvious, it’s the kind of thing that’s usually conspicuous by its absence. It’s the quality that we aren’t even aware of until we get into the 4th or 5th decade of life. Often we’re so busy rising to the occasion that we dismiss it by confusing commitment, focus, and drive with what we perceive as contentment. At this time of year when we’re straddling Fall and Winter, post-Thanksgiving, familiar carols become the score for the season. We want so badly to decompress, we convince ourselves that soon we’ll have time to think, decide, and act. Soon we’ll make those changes. Soon we’ll make that resolution. Maybe that’s what’s meant by Life hanging in the balance. ‘Tis the season for reflection!