Life is about the seasons of change, internal and external, and how we adjust our rhythms and find ourselves in balance or not. Equinox is when the amount of night and day are approximately the same, about 12 hours each, all over the world. For us in the northern hemisphere, it marks the official end of Summer and the beginning of Fall. For our southern hemisphere neighbors and friends, this equinox is the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring. Nature sets her own terms which we attempt to follow.
Why this occurs when it does is because it is the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from north to south. This happens either on September 22, 23, or 24 every year. This year that moment will be at 9:04 PM EDT, Thursday, September 22. Decide how you wish to mark this day, this event and then celebrate accordingly. For further details, definitions and descriptions have a look here:
For farmers and gardeners, this is the harvest season and storing up for winter. For us, who enjoy the blessings of the harvest, we may find meaning in our relationship with Nature. We are connected to the land, to woods and streams, mountains and oceans, animals and plants and we have this wonderful opportunity to participate actively in protecting and preserving these resources for future generations.
As there are seasons in Nature, so there are transitional seasons in our lives, marked by birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays, many of which are celebrated in conjunction with a particular season. Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter come to mind easily as religions were quick to adopt a pagan holiday and give it special religious meanings in different cultures and religions. Festivals of Light are celebrated in almost every tradition and it’s easy to see how that emerged over time with indigenous people who were cognizant of their relationship with the sun, the moon and the seasonal changes marked by things like deciduous trees losing leaves in preparation for new ones in another season. Transition from one stage to the next.
Our dependency on the world of Nature should not be taken for granted which is why now is a good time to review how we regard these elements that give and support life as we know it. So let this be a time of gaining a greater balance between ourselves and Nature and be sure we are putting as much or more in than we are taking out.
Here’s a good story for the season sent to me by friends, Marcia and Mike Nelson Pedde, from their web site: