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March 21, 2000

Verging Vernal

This is the first day of Spring. A day that I await, and even run to meet. I was ahead of schedule, but I couldn't take today off, so it was on the last day of Winter that I celebrated Spring. The Equinox, really; I hope to celebrate Spring for weeks to come. On the days when light and dark are equal, I arrive in the Park at sunrise, and remain until sunset, observing twelve hours of light, though not of dark. Actually, there is more light than dark. I'd need another ninety minutes to account for first light before dawn, and the lingering glow of sundown. I want them too, but twelve hours is really too long for any one to be out, wandering on foot, without food, in chill weather. It seems I've found a new ascesis, plying the edge between celebration and obligation. I did feel obligated to stay. I could have left with Mike and Linda, whose appearance burnished the afternoon. I could have left at any time, but I had a commitment to honor.

This incipient ritual began last year on the Autumnal Equinox. I'd only recently taken up birding, and was pushing myself to get out early, while there were still some migrants about. As it happened, I arrived just at dawn, only realizing the implications over the course of the day, finally deciding to stay throughout. It seemed a wholly appropriate gesture to the occasion; the more so in that it was not planned. When you do just the right thing, without even trying, you're truly on the path.

This time inspiration turned to observation. My conscientiousness compounded the spiritual gravity of the event, creating an etheric stress. Not that I didn't have a good day, but it was a long one, cold in the morning, and tiring by evening. Like many an early rising flower, I might have been nipped in the bud. Happily, there was sustenance to look forward to, and good company, at a festive dinner with DMTree and friends. I was ravenous, which is not the same as eating like a bird. (No ravens in the Park, lots of crows, though.) With wine and good cheer, we ushered out the old season, and welcomed the new.

It was back to work this morning, and I've still got a sleep debt. A sweet one to repay, if I could only find the time. Longer days mean less sleep, but these things will have their own way, with or without me. If this one day is balanced between light and dark, the whole year will find balance over its course. To keep our own, we must maintain perspective at a given point in time.

Well, I just wanted a post with this date. There's more to say, but I can't muster it just now. Spring is here, and that is enough.

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