Finding that Perfect Balance

2012-08-19 22:15:38.000 – Ryan Knapp,  Weather Observer/Meteorologist

Balanced rocks at sunset today!

While out for a walk around sunset today, I came across an interesting sight along the western edge of the summit cone. There were these perfectly stacked rocks, one on top of the other, with their center points just where they needed to be to find their natural balance to counteract the forces acting against them. It was pretty neat to see, especially given that it is not something you see every day up here – usually because wind is your enemy when building something like that. But in the case of today, winds were nearly calm, and we had someone with a bit of extra time on their hands to provide a bit of artificial beauty to complement the natural beauty that surrounds us up here. Looking at the pictures tonight though, I keep thinking that these balanced rocks are a perfect symbol for what it takes to live and work up here – it’s all about finding that perfect balance.

When it comes to work and “play” you have to find that balance to shore up your daily/weekly/monthly/yearly tasks but also get out and blow off some steam with fun and adventure lurking behind every corner on and around the summit. You have to find that balance of clothing when body temperature and air temperature are constantly in conflict; too much clothing and you overheat, too little and you shiver your body down to your core. You have to find those winds that allow you to get your work done safely and/or at all; too high and you lose equipment or the ability to move and too low…well those days are rare, at least when you actually need them it seems. And when it comes to wind, on those higher days, you have to find your inner balance or you’ll be hugging the ground quickly and painfully. You have to find a balance of time; if hiking, what time to leave to get to your ending point by “x” time, or if doing a project that needs summer weather, how much longer until snow will hamper you, or if doing winter research, how much longer until you can start to resume your tests. I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.

While working and living on the summit definitely requires plenty of balance physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, etc, I know we aren’t alone. While some of our external forces (wind, temperatures, etc) may be more evident, the same “invisible” balances that affect us, affect us all. So, I would say if things are becoming a bit much and throwing you off balance, step back, find your “center”, and try again. I’m sure whoever made these didn’t get them like this on their first try. Things slipped up, the rocks fell, and they stepped back, collected their pieces once again, and started over until they got the balance just right – a good lesson for life. But if my comment about a picture of stacked rocks is getting a bit too deep I’ll boil it down and balance it out with this – Man, isn’t life beautiful!


Ryan Knapp,  Weather Observer/Meteorologist

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