Today, I took a drive in the dreary, wet, and overcast weather to the grocery store. It was a short drive, maybe about five minutes or so, but I noticed that the trees were all in varying stages of transition. Some were still green, and some were partially green with red, orange, and yellow accents. Some had already fully turned into the fiery colors of autumn, and some had already lost all their leaves. Collectively, they were all beautiful as each tree was on its own time frame for change. There was no pressure by nearby surroundings to hurry up or slow down.
This transition of seasons reminds me of the many opposites in tai chi. In the tai chi form, we are empty and full, open and closed, focusing on the inner (mind) and outer (physical), coordinating upper and lower body. We are yin and yang – “the two energies present in everything. They are both opposite, but equal, and one cannot exist without the other.” (The Yin and Yang of Summer Solstice)
Summer is yin (the yin characteristic of being hot), and winter is yang (the yang characteristic of being cold). At the height of summer, yin is at its peak and then begins to weaken as it transforms to yang. At the height of winter, yang is at its peak, and then begins to weaken as it transforms to yin. And just like the seasons, tai chi constantly flows from one extreme to a balance of yin and yang, to the other extreme. We flow from being closed to being open. We flow from being empty to being full. It is never-ending.