Sunday, March 22, 2009

Grateful for the Gifts of Spring

Welcome spring!

This week we have not only transitioned to spring (in the northern hemisphere) in an astronomical sense, with the passing of the Vernal Equinox, but weather-wise we have moved out of winter. What had been a snow-covered yard is now bare of the white stuff, and showing evidence of sprouting green things all over the place. The ground is mostly brown, but the gardens are full of buds of day lilies, daffodils, crocus, lily of the valley, red trillium, and more things that I can never remember the names of. Within the next few weeks, I will see an explosion of color and blossoming all around me.

But even before the snow melted, the gallanthum (common name 'snow drops') were blooming through the snow. Back around March 8, just 2 weeks ago, there were over 30 gallanthum flowers blooming in my yard, and 2 days ago I counted 77. A few of the purple crocus that are in a sunny spot have also opened, although the squirrels must be hungry because they nibbled on a few blossoms to taste the fresh flowers.

When spring arrives, I am grateful for so many things! I am grateful for the warmth of the Sun, I am grateful for the melting of the snow, I am grateful for the blooming of the flowers, I am grateful for gardens to nurture, and I am especially grateful for my increasing health and strength.

And I am also grateful for the crowds of visitors who joined me at the Sunwheel for sunrise and sunset on the Equinox to witness the passing of the seasons. For the first time in 2 years, I was able to lead 2 days of sunrise and sunset gatherings for the public at the Sunwheel, and over that time there were over 160 people who attended the Sunwheel events. So my body has healed sufficiently that I have the strength and energy to do what I love. We saw the Earth's shadow setting before sunrise on March 20 and 21, and both days we also saw the sunrise, we saw geese flying, we saw the sunset, we saw the Earth's shadow rising after sunset, and we saw beautiful colors in the sky caused by thin clouds dancing above us. The Universe put on a show which we were able to witness.

This year, 2009, is the International Year of Astronomy (IYA), and as one of the many IYA activities available to the public, I will be producing podcasts on each of the equinoxes and solstices to teach about the characteristics of that day. The March Equinox podcast aired yesterday, on March 21, and you can access it through the "365 Days of Astronomy" website, and then scroll down to the date March 21. Just after the title of my podcast "March 21 -- The March Equinox: All Latitudes Are Illuminated", you can follow the link labeled "Listen using our podcast player". To get to the website, follow this link.

Life is definitely a roller coaster, and full of lessons and gifts every day. My days are full, as I focus on caring for my health, observing the flowering of my gardens and the astronomical dance of the Universe. My prayer is that I be at ease with what I face, trust the Universe and have faith that all is well, and that is my prayer for you as well. Happy spring!