Last night we celebrated the changing of seasons. A day of equal light and dark, a pause between asleep and awake. A time to remember the rhythms of nature, a mysterious and sacred element of God. Many Christians turn away from seasonal rites, thinking they are left over from pagan worship, saying that people were giving too much attention to the seasons. Christopher Hill rebuts this saying, "Our problem today is the opposite. Instead of paying too much attention to this face of God (if that's possible), we pay far too little," (Holidays and Holy Nights). I so enjoy that my children are not just learning about the solar system, but celebrating the rhythm that it brings to our lives, year after year, at the sustaining hand of God.
What a different place in the world we are in now. Last year we celebrated the Spring Equinox in the Black Hills. This year we celebrated with new friends, great food, and so much fun around a bonfire. We made flower crowns and leaf masks for the kids to wear. In the morning, we read about spring and what this day is and means to many cultures in the Spring Equinox. A lovely way to enter Spring.
The Spring Equinox
Now is the pause between asleep and awake:
Two seasons take
A colour and quality each from each as yet.
The new stage-set
Spandril, column and fan of spring is raised against the
Murrey and soft;
The sun swings on the equinoctial line.
Few flowers yet shine:
The hellebore hangs a clear green bell and opulent leaves
above dark mould;
The light is cold
In arum leaves, and a primrose flickers
Here and there; the first cool bird-song flickers in the thicket.
Clouds arc pale as the pollen from sallows;
March fallows are white with lime like frost.
This is the pause between asleep and awake:
The pause of contemplation and of peice,
Before the earth must teem and the heart ache.
This is the child's pause, before it sees
That the choice of one way has denied the other ;
Must choose the either, or both, of to care and not to care;
Before the light or darkness shall discover
Irreparable loss; before it must take
Blame for the creature caught in the necessary snare:
Receiving a profit, before it holds a snare.
~Anne Barbara Ridler, 1912-2001