Spring Belongs To Everyone
Last Thursday at 1:48 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, the exact center of the sun crossed the equator, making day and night each 12 hours long. The Vernal Equinox ("equal night") of 2008 occurred on a day that might not have felt much like it, but last Thursday, March 20 marked the start of the season known as spring.
On the official first day of spring, high winds caused delays at area airports, skies were mostly cloudy and puddles, some quite remarkably large, served as reminders of the stormy day and night that had just passed. The Sunday immediately following, Easter for the Roman, or Western, church, promised to be reminiscent of late winter as far as the temperature was concerned. Even so, here in New York City we were still lucky- the Easter Bunny could make his rounds without having to borrow Santa's sleigh, or, the case in much of the Midwest, a canoe. There was yet reason to rejoice.
Chill in the air or no, the fact remains: Spring has officially sprung. Now that the Vernal Equinox has occurred, the earth is slowly tilting on its axis toward the sun. The Northern Hemisphere even now is experiencing longer hours of daylight (it happens every year, regardless of our artificial manipulations of the clock), despite occasional setbacks temperatures are gradually warming and the year inexorably progresses toward summer.
Spring can be a rare and short-lived phenomenon in New York City, but nevertheless it does happen and we are all better for it. The promise it brings of longer, warmer, sunnier days to come is a gift to all of us. Whether we take the time, however briefly, to pause and savor it as it happens is up to us. We urge our readers- and ourselves- to do so. Notice buds on street trees, covering bare branches with a haze of green, the first flowers poking through what appeared to be barren ground. Every year this marvel happens. All we have to do is look for it.
If you celebrated Easter last Sunday, accept our hopes that your holiday was a happy one. If you are getting ready to celebrate Passover or Orthodox Easter (a good month from now), we offer our good wishes in anticipation of those joyful celebrations. For those whose beliefs do not include such rituals, there is still room for and reason to celebrate the passing of winter as we stand today on the threshold of spring. Do not hesitate to let the season into your heart. It is a treasure that belongs to us all.