Everywhere I go today, people are asking the same question: 'Where is Spring?' While the calendar indicates today is the first day of Spring, Mother Nature seems to have not gotten the memo about the expected delivery day. It's 32 degrees, and feels like 20 with the wind. As I write this, the northeastern states are expecting their fourth nor'easter in as many weeks. No wonder one wonders 'Where is Spring?'
March 20 is the first day of Spring, or the Vernal Equinox, the day when night and day are nearly equal. 'Vernal' comes from the Latin word 'Spring' and Equinox literally means 'equal night.' The two Equinox days (Vernal and Autumnal) occur when the sun shines directly at the equator, and are the only days of the year the tilt of the Earth’s axis is perpendicular to the sun’s rays, making the time of day and night equal.
The Vernal Equinox is considered the beginning of the season of Spring in the northern hemisphere. It is anxiously awaited by we hearty souls who endure the cold temperatures, blustery winds, freezing precipitation, and long darkness of Winter. The coming warmer and sunnier days of Spring are the prize we covet.
The Spring Equinox is celebrated across time and cultures:
These Equinox traditions all celebrate new life. Generally, the season of Spring is considered the season of new life. It is the time for greening grass, leafing trees, sprouting bulbs, flowering trees, birthing animals, and so on. All of these new life miracles begin during this season of Spring, even if the temperatures feel cold, the precipitation is icy, and the days are not yet long. Year in and year out it occurs. The plants and animals trust in Mother Nature and begin their new birth rituals, knowing she will ensure that warmth and sunshine will again be plentiful.
We will do well to live as our fellow creatures in nature, and embrace the new life of Spring. One day, seemingly out of nowhere, Spring temperatures and warm sunshine will arrive in earnest, and we will all be saying, 'Happy Spring!' In the meantime, let us trust in Mother Nature that it will be so.
Trusting in something greater than ourselves helps bring lasting Joy. Where is Spring? It's almost here . . . I am sure of it.
author of "JOY"