At the Equinox, just for a day, the world is united in a way that has nothing to do with human agendas or ideology, nothing to do with environment or climate, nothing to do even with season of the year: there is the same amount of light and darkness everywhere. It’s a kind of creative equality that fascinates me.

This time, as the sun crossed the Equator, I got the image of an adult leading an art project for some kids. Each child had a nice clear workspace, some on the floor, some at tables, some standing in front of a wall. The atmosphere was calm and full of anticipation. She hands out a big sheet of sturdy paper to each child, and then distributes sets of brushes and two identical jars — one of light and one of darkness.

“Okay, everyone,” she says to the eager kids (and I’m one of them — I’m so excited!), “today you have exactly the same amount of daylight and night to work with. We’re each going to paint our pictures, which will be the map of our lives for the next six months.”

I knew right away that some pictures would have more daylight and some more night, that light was not good and darkness evil, that there was no battle between day and night. I could feel the beauty of each, and the sacred gifts of each — inwardness, outwardness, communication, introspection, giving, receiving — I won’t go on, you know them already. What each painting looked like wasn’t the point.

The point was that at this time of the year whatever we paint stays with us until the sun crosses the equator again, giving us another identical set of jars of light and darkness.

Paint from the heart, which is to say, paint wisely.