Friday, September 23, 2011

autumnal equinox

   It feels like we barely got a taste of Summer and here it is Autumn already.  Today is the Autumnal Equinox when light and darkness balance on the wheel of the year.  From here into Winter, the nights will grow longer than the days.  And oh, how I’ll miss those warm, long nights (brief though they were this time around).  It’s an interesting time, entering my husband’s favorite season; one to celebrate equilibrium before preparing for the colder, darker time to come.
   Historically this holiday was an observance of the last crops coming in and so a time when the bustle and hard work of summer decreased along with the light.  For us, with school beginning, it seems just the opposite.  We do however make the transition from lots of hectic time traveling and playing out of doors with many friends and family to the more solitary, calm, indoor activities and crafts that the cooler weather inspires.
   This seasonal transition is a time when those contrasting lifestyles meet.  At our bonfire gathering this evening we’re wondering how we (both adults and children) can inwardly and outwardly celebrate this moment of balance and also honor all the goodness that the earth has given us.
   We’ll bring the bounty of our separate gardens to share with those we love but what of activities?  I’ve read about games symbolic of balance (like races carrying eggs on spoons) that are held at Equinox feasts but I’m wondering what other traditions and festivities folks might enjoy for their Fall celebrations.   
   Any suggestions?  I’d love to hear how other people acknowledge the turning of the year (even if this rotation finds you in another hemisphere and you’re welcoming Spring instead of Autumn).  Won't you please leave a comment/suggestion to help enliven our observance?

Happy Equinox to all!

Autumn winds are sighing
Stealing through the forest brown,
As they softly pass the tree trunks
Little leaves come falling down.
But a stronger gale is blowing-
Than the leaves themselves
Rise and dance about the forest
Just like little elves.
Faster, faster see them whirling
Till the gale has passed.
One by one the tired leaflets
Sink to rest at last.

                                           from Autumn by Wystones Press

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