Monday, March 22, 2010

All things equal, Spring can't help itself

On the first official day of Spring -- when the sun is directly over the equator and all things are equal – I went down to the river. And, Spring, it couldn’t help itself.

Spring made itself known along the river bank, where trees budded, turkeys talked romance and all critters great and small, flora and fauna, sighed and celebrated.

For me, on the pier, watching boats glide by – all of us apparently seeking the illusive crappie, the pretty perch, in an Alabama River and Pine Barren Creek muddied from rains and floods -- it didn’t matter that I could only catch a catfish, a little squealer that croaked at me as I freed it from the hook and kicked the whiskered creature back into the Big Muddy. Like the birds that flitted by and the occasional jumping fish – getting in practice for summer – it was enough for me just to be there with the sun shining equally on us all.

The Vernal Equinox, which happened officially about 12:32 CDT Saturday, March 20, means equal days and nights. Actually, Equinox means equal nights. The Vernal means Spring, and our brothers in the southern hemisphere had an Autumnal Equinox last Saturday.

Later in the day – that matching 12 hour day to a 12-hour night – I listened as bats rattled in drying grasses at riverside and then flitted out and gobbled mosquitoes (out and celebrating, too) with the practiced abandon of an all-you-can-eat buffet. Frogs croaked and birds twittered (sans iphones) and sang, all sounding so joyous that they seemed trying to outshout each other. Across the water, barn owls called to each other hoohoohoohoooooo.

Mankind has always celebrated Spring, as proof that winter ends, that food supplies will be restored and that days will be longer even without the extra cheating spring-forward hour modern man added. Spring is also significant in Christianity because Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. (This year it's on April 4). Also, the early Egyptians built the Great Sphinx so that it points directly toward the rising Sun on the day of the Vernal Equinox.

It all makes sense in a way that, to me, defies the idea that all this just happens, that our organized and balanced world is a happy cosmic accident. While faith is central to our celebration of Easter, Spring is evidence of the intelligent, interconnected, well-planned pattern that is our life of earth and skies.

I can only watch it in wonder and celebration. I hope you do, too.

Song of the day:

Beautiful Day, U2

“See the bird with a leaf in her mouth
After the flood all the colours came out
It was a beautiful day
A beautiful day
Don't let it get away

Touch me, take me to that other place
Reach me, I know I’m not a hopeless case

What you don't have you don't need it now
What you don't know you can feel it somehow
What you don't have you don't need it now
You don't need it now, you don't need it now
Beautiful day”

Picture of the day:

This Japanese Magnolia bloomed in front of the Delp Home on Selma's Historic Pilgrimage last weekend. Photo by Janet Gresham, a.k.a. Rambling Round, whose blog is called Selma, Ala. Daily Photo

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