Wednesday, March 18, 2020

For the Vernal Equinox (March 19)

Tomorrow marks the Vernal Equinox or Ostara, one of two times in the calendar year (the other being the Autumn Equinox or Mabon) when the Earth and her unruly children hover in perfect balance for a brief interval. Humans had nothing to do with this day - it's a pivotal astronomic point ordained by the heavens, by the natural order of things in this magnificent cosmos where we live out our days, spinning like tops in the Great Round of space and time. Although the spring equinox is often celebrated on March 21st, tomorrow is the actual astronomical date this time around.

If I lived further south, tomorrow might be a day of greening and enchantment, a day when Eostre, the old Teutonic goddess of greening and fertility, wanders wild places with her arms full of spring blooms, bestowing blessings on everything she sees. Flowers would spring up in her footsteps as she passed, and she would be attended by hares, her special animal,. The air would be filled with birdsong,  with the heady fragrance of rich dark earth and wild springtime herbs.

Alas, the only snowdrops blooming here at the moment are those in a glass jar here in my study. It will be several weeks until Lady Spring makes an appearance in the northern landscape, but rumors of her imminent presence and the arrival of the greening season persist. It has been a long winter this time around, and Eostre can't show up to soon for me. Our winter birds feel the same. Every feathered visitor to our sleeping garden seems to be declaring its lofty status as a messenger from the sacred, a harbinger of abundance and new life.

Last night Beau and I went outside into the garden for a few minutes, and a cold going it was. As we shivered in the star spangled darkness and looked up into the cauldron of night, it seemed to us that this month's full moon on March 9th had (as it always does) borne more than a passing resemblance to a great cosmic egg - a perfect expression of this turning of the wheel with its verdant motifs of warmth, light and new life coming into being.

There is blooming in our thoughts this day, but it is too cold for outdoor celebrations. I will spend a few minutes outside this evening, perhaps light a celebratory candle on the deck, but the festivities are indoors for the most part.  This will be my first Vernal Equinox in more than forty years without my soulmate, and it will be difficult. There will be no grilled salmon, risotto and Chablis this year, but Beau and I will celebrate his presence in our lives, and we will send him our love, just as we do every day.

Happy Ostara everyone, a very happy Vernal Equinox to you and your tribe.


Barbara Rogers said...

Happy Oestra to you too, Kate. May you enjoy the slowly coming blessings of springtime.

Guy said...

Snow and a chill wind here today. All the best.


M. E. Martinsen said...

I too pause to note the earth's movement into a new season. I am still sorry for your lose, and the burden you now carry. And still you see the beauty around you. Thank you.