Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Slipping past another marker on the orbital calendar

This is the September equinox. I grew up calling it the Autumnal Equinox, but having traveled in the Southern Hemisphere now, I'm going to have to go with the global flow and call it the September Equinox. Here in central California, summer has been droughty, not as hot as it can be, but with some sizzling days. As much as that autumn is still dry most of the time, and grasses turn from gold to brown, I welcome it. I welcome the shifting of the stars, the return of Orion to prominence. I welcome being able to sleep at night without tossing and turning on top of the blankets in a sweat. I welcome the buckeyes falling from the buckeye tree next door. This year I intend to plant quite a lot of them in cans, to keep the species going through habitat loss.

Points along the path as the earth turns aren't part of a religion for me. I notice the Pagan and Christian, and sometimes other markers for stops along the seasonal paths, but I don't notice them in terms of gods or goddesses or the supernatural.

They keep my eyes and ears open.

They tie me to the earth, and that's important for me. Keeping my awareness on the planet (and the universe) that, probably without even knowing it, keeps conditions so that I can live the life I live now, helps me remember that one of my responsibilities is to care for it. One reason I like geography is that it's about something, some place, I love -- and if we love something, why wouldn't we want to learn more about it and take care of it?

Not only does the Time and Date link have a great explanation of how and why the equinox is what it is, it's full of more awesome links to information and fun.

Today, I'm heading out into the garden to separate the green-bin pruning from the compost-pile pruning, to pull down the remains of the corn, harvest some potatoes, sort out some pole-bean seeds for saving (and feed the rest to the chickens), and start preparing the planting beds for fall's parsnips, spinach, lettuce, carrots, and sugar snap peas.

Photos thanks to Wolfgang Staudt and kganes via Flickr's creative commons search.

No comments: