You may be feeling (as we ourselves have been) that the snow will never melt. Well it is melting, but it’s been a long, cold winter, which definitely makes this spring so much sweeter!
Get outside to celebrate the arrival of warm sunlight, budding flowers, springtime, and all the good nature that comes with it:
- Plan an outdoor lunch or dinner
- Make a small outdoor fire (safely, of course) to help celebrate the sun’s return.
- Look for any flowers that may be blooming or green leaves pushing through the soil.
- Make bets (using acorns as currency) on when any left over patches of snow will melt.
- Check some branches to see if any buds are getting fatter or even beginning to open.
- Take an outdoor walk and be aware of any small, flying insects that may be out and about. Now where were they this winter?!
- If it’s sunny, stand still and tilt one cheek toward the sun, close your eyes, and feel the warmth. Now turn the other cheek.
- Lie down in a woodland or forested area, look up at the sky, its beauty, how it changes, and know that this view will not be possible once the leaves are on the tree again. Take it in while you can.
- Walk across lawn and other areas and feel how soft and spongy they are, not like the frozen solid, cement feel of winter ground.
- Look at the tiny creatures that may have spent this winter in the holes and crevasses of tree bark. Look at the bark carefully, up and down and all around. Look up close, and use a magnifier if you have one. Wish them all a happy spring!
- Blow bubbles outside and watch how they make the paths of the winds visible.
The Vernal Equinox
The first day of spring is this coming Thursday, March 20th, at precisely 12:57 pm. It is a time when day and night are close to equal, and something that all people in the northern hemisphere experience, though most may be unaware.
Seasons occur because the earth is tilted 23.5 degrees. When the top, or northern hemisphere, is tilted toward the sun, it is summer. When the top is tilted away, it is winter. Most people would say that the earth is closest to the sun in the summer, and farther from the sun in the winter. Just the opposite, which might at first seem a little strange. In summer the earth is farthest from the sun, but our northern hemisphere is tilted toward the sun, making our summer. During winter the earth is closest to the sun, but winter occurs for us because our ‘top of the earth’ is tilted away from the sun.
Can you really balance an egg on its end during an equinox? Yes, you can! But, you can also balance an egg on its end any day of the year if you really try. An equal amount of daytime and night does not in fact make it any easy to balance an egg, and there aren’t any invisible equinox waves that give your egg extra stability. But it’s not surprising to us that folks think of eggs and the spring equinox together, as eggs are an old and reliable symbol for the new season of growth, sunlight, and rebirth.
This year especially we’ve been waiting for the day when we can say, “Ah, it’s the first day of spring.”