Spring by the calendar, regardless of the weather. This year the spring equinox, Ostara, comes on March 20th at 12:10 AM. We are predicted to have rain, sleet and snow showers and more below freezing nights for these beginning days of spring. This year the start of spring will be the earliest since 1896. The March equinox can come on March 19, 20 or 21. In 2012 the equinox also was the earliest since 1896 but this year’s is even earlier than that of 2012. maybe this contributes to the unseasonable weather for this Ostara.
This creep of the dates comes because the calendar has an even 365 days in a regular year and 366 in a leap year but the tropical year, as measured between successive March equinoxes, doesn’t have an even number of days. The tropical year is the interval of time between one vernal equinox and the next and is a standard unit of time used by astronomers, physicists, and navigators. The centennial year 2000 was a leap year, which causes the March equinox to arrive roughly three-quarters of a day earlier in the 21st century than at corresponding years in the 20th century.
In my front garden beds the jonquils have been in bloom for several days. I covered them with leaves again this morning in hopes of protecting them from the freeze. The same was done to my newly sprouting comfrey and horseradish. The green leaves of irises, grape hyacinths, and day lilies are breaking through the blanket of leaves I put over them last fall but still fairly covered and are close to the house so I hope they will be all right. There is no good way to cover the new buds on my lilacs and flowering trees, so as with the bulbs coming through the leaves I am keeping my fingers crossed. Daylight saving time came into effect a week ago but it doesn’t seem to be making a positive impact, at least for me. Up in the early hours, it is still dark and the sunset still doesn’t seem much later in the day. I look out at skies that are grey or raining as often as those of Seattle or Portland and wish the false spring had not deceived my plants.
Which is why this year I am focused on Ostara as the astronomical equinox. a moment of equilibrium in an always changing solar system. It is a day to contemplate time and balance in life, balance between light and dark, activity and stillness and work and leisure. In this clock based, task driven, busy for the sake of looking busy world where people wear overwork like a badge of honor is it possible to achieve balance? I think so, but you must be strong enough to withstand the pull of the current or be swept away. Even though the overcast may hide the sun and the leaves hide my sprouting garden I know spring is here. I will fill the bird feeders to help the birds through the bad weather days and contemplate the cosmos, where time moves at a slower, grander pace then frantic human action.Please click on the image to enlarge it. It’s really beautiful and shows the constellations as well as the positions of the earth in relation to the sun,