(Updated for 2014: Spring will occur Thursday, March 20, at 16:57 UTC, or 12:57 pm, Eastern Daylight Time.)
Spring is almost upon us. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Vernal Equinox will officially occur Wednesday, March 20, at 11:02 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). This corresponds to 7:02 am, Eastern Daylight Time, and 4:02 am on the West Coast.
During the twice-yearly Equinox, the tilt of the Earth’s axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, and the Sun is vertically above a point on the Equator. (The name “equinox” comes from the Latin for the words “equal” and “night — on these days night and day are approximately the same length.)
Spring conjures growth and new life, play, beauty, flowers, and the return of the sun and longer days. There are many simple ways to honor spring, from dancing a maypole dance to dyeing eggs.
Celebrations of spring happen all season, of course, as buds bloom on trees and the tulips, daffodils and other bulbs planted in the dead of winter show their cheery, colorful heads.
In my neck of the woods, wildflowers and spring bulbs have recently popped their heads up to welcome this expansive and lovely season. Here’s hoping for a pretty, play-filled spring where you are.
As I often do, at times of seasonal change, I turned to the haiku poets to help give gentle expression to the turning of the year.
Now wild geese return …
What draws them
All the long dark night?
From my tiny roof
Smooth … Soft …
Melts in Melody
Good morning, sparrow …
Writing on my
with your dewy feet
Opening thin arms …
A pink peony
Big as this!
Said my bitty girl
Photos by Susan Sachs Lipman