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March 20, 2003

Spring is a Garden Good Enough for Us

The Vernal Equinox occurs tonight at eight o'clock, so tomorrow, the twenty first, is the first real day of Spring. That's the usual date, but it wanders a bit, because the Earth's orbit is an imprecisely divisible ellipse rather than a circle, and because the planet tilts a bit, and because things in the Heavens are no more perfect than they are in our World.

In a perfect world, Spring would bring renewal, rebirth, and hope. We will get green grass, no doubt; the trees will fill with leaves and birds, as they have before, but hope... what hope dare we harbor when Spring comes in on gusts of war?

I cannot bring myself to hope the war goes badly, whatever that might mean. If our war goes well, then it must be going badly for someone else. It's all bad, but even though I toy with the notion of a comeuppance, I still think and speak of this nation as "us" and "we"; "ours" and even "mine". These little words are the largest measure of my support in this endeavor: I cannot wish us ill.
But we defile the season.

The Equinox is balance.
Day and night equally divided.
As the Sun begins to predominate, the weather will grow warmer.
America is shining like the Sun, surging towards an imperial Summer.
If the war goes "well", as I fear it must, then our best hope may be in keeping our own balance, for the World is so unbalanced by our preeminence that equality itself is threatened, even though we may believe that we are its enforcer.

We welcome back the Sun after a bitter Winter, but let us remember last year's drought. Too much Sun will parch and scorch even our own paradisiacal corner of the World, rendering it but the equal of that distant desert which now lies where the first Garden grew.
Spring brings a paradise to us each year, but war is no way to reenter Eden.