For me it’s a way to mark the end of summer, a way to reflect on that which I’ve planted, sowed and reaped, a chance to take inventory and prepare for the next cycle. I’ll be baking some bread, maybe getting the Man to brew a special batch of beer, the Kidlet and I will fill the bird feeders and feed the fish. (The outside fish…the ones in the pond. We don’t have inside fish, my cats do not need a built in sushi bar.)
The Greeks believed that this was the day dedicated to Demeter. As she’s one of my personal faves, I think I’ll go with that mythology.
From the science perspective, an equinox is either of two points on the celestial sphere where the ecliptic and the celestial equator intersect. The seasons of the year are caused by the 23.5º tilt of the earth’s axis. Because the earth is rotating like a top or gyroscope, it points in a fixed direction continuously — towards a point in space near the North Star. But the earth is also revolving around the sun. During half of the year, the southern hemisphere is more exposed to the sun than is the northern hemisphere. During the rest of the year, the reverse is true. At noontime in the Northern Hemisphere the sun appears high in the sky during summertime and low in the sky during winter. It is highest at the summer solstice (about June-21) and lowest at the winter solstice (about December-21). The half-way points in the year are called the equinoxes. It is time of the year when the sun rises exactly in the east, travels through the sky for 12 hours, and sets exactly in the west. Everywhere on earth experiences close to 12 hours of daylight, and 12 hours of nighttime. At the autumnal equinox (Sept. 22, 2005, 6:23 P.M. UT), the sun appears to cross the celestial equator, from north to south; this marks the beginning of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere.
In hurricane news, my mother is panicking about us…and we’re near Dallas. I keep trying to explain that we’re closer to arkansaw and oklahoma than we are the coast, but you know mothers. She’s insisting that I go tie the grill and the trampoline to the fence to keep them from killing us in our beds from the dreaded winds of doom. Silly mother. Of course, I’m going to go do it, ya know, because she’s my mom…and if I didn’t, and they did come through the windows, I’d have an eternity of “I told you so” coming.
We may have some friends coming up that are now being told to evacuate their farm. On the plus side, she’s a soaper, so we can spend the weekend making bubbles. Yay!