Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Welcoming Spring

Today, on the first day of spring, I decided to clear the flower bed that runs along the back of the house.  I wanted be outside for the arrival of the new season -- that moment  when the sun crosses the celestial equator at precisely 12:15 pm.  I set the alarm on my phone so I don't miss it.

Everyone is familiar with earth's equator.  To imagine the celestial equator, project the equator out into space -- a great circle around the circumference of the earth, like the terrestrial equator but way out there around the planet.

The equinox occurs when the sun crosses the celestial equator from the southern hemisphere into the northern.  This passage marks the start of spring.

I bundle up, looking ridiculous, because really it's still too cold to be doing yard work here in Connecticut.  I pull on rubber boots, tucking in my bulky sweats.  I put a jacket over my hoodie and a headband over my ears.  I gather up rake and broom and step outside.

The bed is clotted with dry leaves banked against the house and chimney; I rake winter's debris out onto the patio.  Ragged, stalky growth that didn't get cleared last fall easily comes loose.  And some tender green sprouts -- what a pleasure to spot these, soon-to-be yellow lillies.

Next I rake the accumulated pile of leaves into the woods at the edge of the property.  This brings me to the iris bed along the south side of the house.  It's pretty clear but I comb through that as well.  Slender stalks are already pushing through the bleached husks of last year's growth.  

I'm warming up when the alarm goes off in my pocket.  On the patio I take off my jacket for a little more mobility and do seven sun salutations, welcoming the sun across the celestial equator.  

With these salutations, I mirror the trees. Raising my arms, I gather the energies of the sun and sky until my hands meet overhead.  Then I swan dive down (to quote my yoga teacher), fingertips skimming the edges of my energy field, to the ground, where I gather earth energies -- so potent right now! Next I pause with hands on shins and straight back, before reaching down to earth once again to begin the cycle anew.

In this moment we have a new season.  We leave the dormant energies of winter behind and enter into the sprouting energies of spring.  The earth quickens.  Light lasts longer.  Day by day, the sun rises higher in the sky.  Geese migrate north.  Stars shift overhead.  The sun moves into fiery Aries.  The great Wheel of the Year turns once again toward rebirth, renewal, resurrection.

Stepping into the flow of time in this way stirs my ancient soul. Aligning with the instant of the equinox puts me in the flow of larger creation cycles -- lunar, solar and galactic, cycles within cycles -- and activates my creative rhythms.

As the sun crosses the celestial equator, I cross a threshold too.


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