As the Sun Crosses the Equator This Afternoon…

the autumn equinox officially occurs. It happens in 20 minutes at 3:20 PM ET here in Paradelle. Of course, we won’t notice anything happening at 3:20 PM or earlier or later in the day. Unlike this week’s Full Moon which you can see, you don’t see the equinoxes or solstices. Actually, you often don’t even feel them. The weather here feels very summerish this week and I’m glad, even though autumn is my favorite season.

As usual, my post is Northern Hemisphere-centeric. Today those in the Southern Hemisphere are moving out of winter and into spring.

Astronomers tell us that the ecliptic and the celestial equator intersect now as the Sun crosses the equator. That event pushes us into two seasons. Solstices initiate the other two.

Celtic year
Image by Witchgarden from Pixabay

Summer haze cools into fall. You can celebrate the Celtic autumn equinox festival, called Mabon. It’s part of the annual sacred Celtic celebrations, which date back to ancient times. Mabon marks a time to celebrate and rest after the labors of harvest. It is a good time to finish projects and also clear out emotional and physical clutter. Doing that can bring a winter that is peaceful and restorative.

Some extended summer in the north is welcome. A warm autumn is also a good thing, as is a gradual drop in temperature as we move closer to winter. Nature colors change to the yellow/orange/gold part of the spectrum instead of the vernal green. Days are shortening and nights are lengthening.

John Keats says to autumn in his ode,
“Where are the songs of spring?
Ay, Where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—

The music of autumn is:

Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

But I’ll be like the optimistically-incorrect bees in Keats’ poem who see late flowers and “think warm days will never cease.”

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A lifelong educator on and off the Internet. Random by design and predictably irrational. It's turtles all the way down. Dolce far niente.

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