By Tracie Nichols
I have to confess, I find equinoxes gasp-worthy.
They feel like a moment of time-out-of-time twice each year, offering us a day of dynamically balanced light and dark. It always feels to me like they’re the earth’s way of creating space so we can rest and gather before moving into the next cycle of seasonal rhythms.
It’s as if the earth is teaching us the true meaning of balance.
Like what we feel when we inhale and hold a few seconds before we exhale, or awaken and pause a few moments before we burst into movement. A sweet moment of appreciation for what was, what is and what will be—all wrapped up in a sacred pause.
Even the scientific explanation seems to agree, “An equinox occurs when the plane of Earth’s Equator passes the center of the Sun. At that instant, the tilt of Earth’s axis neither inclines away from nor towards the Sun…The subsolar point crosses the equator, moving northward at the March equinox and southward at the September equinox” (emphasis mine).
Not only are we balancing between two seasons—this March equinox heralds the edge between winter and spring in the northern hemisphere, and summer and autumn for southern hemisphere ecosystems—but the hemispheres are balanced between two sides of the same phenomenon.
The everyday balance of day and night nestles into the fluid balance between seasons; nestles into the global balance of hemispheric weather patterns. Living system within living system, eternal rhythms playing out, and we have the consciousness with which to experience this in all of its complex beauty.
See what I mean? Gasp-worthy.
I can understand why so many past and current civilizations celebrate them. And why I feel a primal longing to clear space in my life on each equinox to notice. To notice the earth’s rhythms. To notice what’s moving in my own life. To notice rising ideas, insights and creative impulses in the spring, and deepening, slowing, shedding urges in the autumn. To notice what feels like the most sacred and celebratory way to mark this great cyclical pause each time it happens.
This spring, it’s with a poetic outpouring….
muted sunlight glow
I squat on the ground…
soil dark and ready
damp cool promise
under my hand
withered peas in a line
to be pressed
into the earth
the air is pregnant with rain
at the courage
of the peas
each tender leaf
suffused with strength
following where they lead
of 53 years of
shaking myself free
taking the same risk
as the peas
hoping to taste
to the world
What do you notice this March equinox? How are you feeling called to mark it’s arrival?
Editor: Daniel Scharpenburg
- Pay Attention Humans. The Little Brown Bat is in Danger. - May 23, 2015
- I’m Here. I Matter. - April 8, 2015
- Equinox: When The Earth Pauses Between Ebb And Flow. - March 20, 2015