Saturday, 19 March 2011
I hope you have had an enjoyable week. I realised that I have been '6' for a whole month and it has certainly flown past at jet pace. Last time, it was like being on the proverbial slow boat to China with the next birthday being an eternity a way.
On Friday, I took my usual stroll around the Sandwell Valley and then sat for some time by the Ice House Pool watching the swans before going into the Farm and having lunch. During the afternoon, I took the above photographs . . . buds on the trees and daffodils in bloom. At long last, signs that spring has arrived. Well, at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. Next weekend, our clocks go forward and we can look forward to longer days and shorter nights. . . the dark, bleak days of winter are behind us.
Spring is a beautiful time of the year. We see pretty yellow primroses, white snowdrops, purple and yellow crocuses all bringing colour and marking the end of the drabness of winter. Nature comes to life again. My favourite childhood memory of spring is the new-born lambs. As a farmer's daughter, I remember the joy of seeing the first lamb of the season being born, staggering to its feet and taking that first bleat; it was AWESOME! Sadly, it is only now, when I look back, that I realise how fortunate I was to have been brought up on a farm.
This weekend is officially the vernal equinox or spring equinox marking the beginning of the astronomical spring. For those in the Southern Hemisphere, it is the autumnal equinox. It is when the sun crosses the celestial equator and the day and night are of equal length. This year, the official time is 23.21 on the 20th. The vernal equinox is the most significant day in the pagan calendar and kemetic pagans spend the day praying to the goddess of cats, Bast.
This event is marked in different ways around the world. In Japan, it is an official holiday and spent visiting family graves and holding family reunions. In the light of the recent earthquake and tsunami it will be particularly poignant for the Japanese this year. In many Arab countries, Mother's Day is celebrated on the vernal equinox. The Iranian festival of Norouz is celebrated on this day because, according to ancient Persian Mythology, Jamshid the mythical king of Persia ascended to his throne on this day and each year it is commemorated with festivities lasting for two weeks; they recall the creation myth and ancient cosmology of the Iranian and Persian people. Earth Day was originally celebrated on this day on March 21st, 1970; it is now celebrated in America on April 22nd.
So, have you got any fond memories of spring that you would care to share with us? Do you feel more alive at the vernal equinox? Is there a spring in your step?
Thought for the week: To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. . . (Ecclesiastes 3v1)