As we speedily spiral our way across the Universe, we have once again arrived at a biannual equinox. As we learned in grade school science class, this occurs because our home planet rotates on a tilted axis so the surface of the Earth’s exposure to the Sun constantly changes. This ongoing process affects life in predictable ways.
Not only can we observe the life cycles of plants and animals in regard to the changing seasons, we can take note of our own emotional reactions to the environmental changes that occur around the equinoxes.
Those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere anticipate the arrival of warmer weather. We certainly want to mention that our friends who live south of the Equator are readying themselves for Autumn. This is simply one of the many situations that come up because we live on a globe-shaped object.
The name for this phenomenon stems from two Latin words: aequus meaning equal and nox meaning night. The two equinoxes are labeled Vernal, the Latin word meaning “of spring”; and autumnal from the Latin word autumnalis meaning “of autumn”.
It’s fun to think that today is either the first day of spring or the first day of fall depending where you are. If you are precisely at the equator, you can experience one or the other simply by taking one step north or one step south.
Today marks the definitive beginning of the progression towards the solstices of summer and winter.
Isn’t it wonderful to ponder both our planet and our culture?
The Blue Jay of Happiness likes this thought from the Native American leader Sitting Bull: “Behold my friends, the spring is come. The Earth has gladly received the embraces of the Sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love.”