Perceiving the Equinox


In Southern California, we don’t feel the seasons as dramatically as those in other parts of the country and we often have to rely on the calendar to tell us when a season changes. Over the weekend it suddenly got chilly and Saturday morning was foggy, but this week it is warm again and somewhat steamy and we are still walking around in shorts and flip flops and I am wearing my big, silly hat:


Big hat, beach-biker, Laurie

But we do have one thing in common with everyone else in the Northern Hemisphere, after the Autumnal Equinox sunlight will lessen and darkness will increase. And for the briefest of moments tomorrow, worldwide, the light and the dark will stand in perfect and equal proportion.

Is this moment perceptible? What if we could feel the instant of the equality of light and dark?

If we equated this balance to ourselves, would we feel at perfect peace with all the things that war in our in mind, the personal, the emotional, the professional, the spiritual?


A local cormorant showing off her balancing skills.

Would we feel in that smallest measure of time that everything about ourselves and our lives was manageable?

And if so, what if we could string out that result into hours or days or for the rest of our life?

In my city, that moment will arrive at 7:21am (PDT). This website will help you find your exact time.


2 thoughts on “Perceiving the Equinox

  1. Though national met offices now start the seasons at the beginning of the month (autumn for them started three weeks ago) the equinox in more northerly latitudes is definitely more than a mere symbolic event; certainly in the UK the air temperatures have been noticeably cooler in recent days.

    But we mustn’t underestimate the power of symbols. Harvest Sunday — a gathering of bounty into Anglican churches — may only have been a pious Victorian innovation but even poets have celebrated the advent of the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.

    I like to think that Michaelmas, celebrated at the tail end of the month with eating goose, was positioned here because the image of the scales of St Michael weighing souls was somehow emblematic of the transition to a time of darkness, when the moment of balance was to be tipped decisively towards night … until the solstice brought renewed hope.


    • I agree with so much here, well except starting autumn three weeks ago!

      I am all for symbols, especially for what we have lost in the modern world when it comes to nature. For pagans and other nature-oriented types today is the second harvest festival of the year. And though I have nothing to do with growing food, there is certainly something in which I can relate. Nothing wrong with acknowledging and giving thanks for the fruits reaped. And that churches recognize the bounty of the earth at this time can only be a good thing.


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