Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Vernal Equinox

Tomorrow marks the first official day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere as daylight finally catches up with the night. It's always a special day for me as I look forward to warmer weather. The real first day of spring, however, usually doesn't fall in line with the equinox and this year was no exception. By real I mean the first day it feels like spring and not just to me... The first day a magical something in the air besides sunlight and warmth makes itself known.

It happened last Sunday in my neck of the woods. Fishermen were wading Neshanock Creek, Amish children playing in their yards and melting snow was quickly being replaced with mud. The local Dairy Queen bustled with the young and old alike, motorcycles and bicycles competed with cars for thier share of the road and for the first time in the new year winter's frozen grip on life began to weaken. Maybe the most notable effect of that first thaw is it's mellowing of people. Passersby smile and nod, some even stop to talk. Drivers seem to be more tolerant and there is a general feeling of contentment everywhere you go.

Whatever the magic it will linger for awhile, like the snow piles and ice but won't last long, certainly won't see April through. Slowly it will be replaced by summer or thoughts of it. Nobody really notices the transition, probably won't come to mind again until the next equinox. By February it will be hard to think of anything else.

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