Many people associate Spring with the advent of new growth that we can see and smell. In the southern hemisphere, not so, as it’s autumn there and the amount of daylight is decreasing. While some spend more time inside than outside in the winter, we are now glad to be outside again, except of course for those of us with some miserable Springtime allergies. And the closer you are to the earth, the more enhanced the senses. I usually remember at this time of the year that Easter (Eostre, pagan goddess of Spring) is the first Sunday, after the first full moon, after the vernal equinox, a movable feast to be sure.
If you want to get precise about it, it will happen at 4:30 UTC or 10:30 PM EDT today. That’s when the tilt of Earth relative to the Sun is zero, which means that Earth’s axis neither points toward nor away from the Sun. However, the tilt of Earth relative to its plane of orbit, called the ecliptic plane, is always about 23.5 degrees. So much for the scientific side of the equation.
Vernal, which means literally fresh and young and youthful, refers to Spring. This is true in the northern hemisphere where Winter is ending. However, in the southern hemisphere, it is really the autumnal equinox and while the hours of daylight and nighttime are almost equal there as well, it is the ending and beginning of different seasons. Those of us who live, work and play in the northern half sometimes forget the other half. There’s a metaphor in there somewhere!
I am one of those who follow the sun’s path on the horizon, especially at sunrise and often at sunset. It really does not travel north and south but that is how it appears and that’s good enough for me. This week the sun will be halfway on its journey north .