Today is the Spring Equinox in the northern hemisphere. The sky is slightly overcast this morning but the sun is breaking through, important since we also experience a rare solar eclipse today.
I love marking the seasons. It’s still a relatively new practise for me, and I tend to make it up as I go along. “Happy Spring Equinox!” I greeted Rasmus with when he came downstairs this morning. “OK…” was the response, which made me giggle. I know, they are not the most know, anticipated or celebrated of days, especially for Christians like us, who often come with a healthy dose of skepticism to anything that sounds remotely pagan.
But there is so much blessing and wisdom to be found in embracing the annual cycle of the seasons, to allowing these calendar days to remind us to stop and notice that time is moving, that there is this amazing rhythm and life force within the world, keeping it all moving, keeping us alive.
Learning to live within and celebrate the natural cycles of the years is a reminder of one of the first things we ever learn in Sunday school: that God is Creator. This life force that keeps us spinning on this little planet, that prompts the animals to wake from their winter hibernation, prods the seeds to begin unfurling and pushing up through the dark earth towards the light, guides the wild geese back on their annual flight to their summer home.
The more I learn to live within and celebrate these seasonal shifts, the more wonder I have for the way it all holds together, the incredible force and energy in this world, the stunning beauty of it all.
Today, the lightness and darkness are in perfect balance. We are midway between the winter solstice (just before Christmas) and the summer solstice in June. Equal light and equal dark. It reminds me to check how balanced my own life is right now.
Where is the balance between work and rest? Between body and spirit? Between my emotions and my mind?
We’re also on this side of the summer solstice, moving towards the light, longer days, drawn out evenings. Spring has definitely sprung here in Luxembourg. The parks are a blaze of crocuses, with the daffodils beginning to bloom as well. The days are warmer, heavy coats being discarded for lighter jackets. And there’s a new sense of energy again as we get out of the house more, enjoy the warmer brighter days after the long cold winter.
It’s a moment to do an emotional and mental spring clean. Some years I have chosen this day to clean the windows as a spiritual practice that allows me to think about where I could do with sweeping away some inner cobwebs and built up layers of grime, allow a little more light into the dark corners.
And there’s this amazing sense of renewal and rebirth all around us! We are just a few weeks from Easter, our greatest celebration of rebirth and resurrection. And part of the Christian calendar is to practice this season of Lent before Easter, a time of reflection and repentance. Traditionally we banish flowers from the church, don’t utter Hallelujah throughout this season, deny ourselves some of the things we desire to remind ourselves of the deeper desires of our heart.
There is so much wisdom to be found practicing Lent. And yet it seems like the whole world is already celebrating ahead of us! Rebirth is happening all around us these days, pointing us to the truth that it is happening in us too. And so I do the work of Lent, the spring cleaning of the windows of my soul, checking the balance in my own life and making steps to correct it when I’m all wonky. And at the same time I remember to rejoice in this work of rebirth in me which is so gradual and yet so powerful.
Spring brings such potential and fertility. The equinox today asks of me, what is awakening in you? What is ready to blossom? And what are you being called to give your energy to in this coming season of light?
Wishing you a blessed equinox today!
May you find the balance you desire and need,
light and dark,
spirit and body,
mind and soul.
May you recognise the gradual powerful rebirth
happening within you.
May you awaken to the potential
and the blossoming
of your own self.
And like the wild geese,
May you find your way home.