Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Well, it's almost that time. At 4:18 pm CDT on Sept 22, we lose our sunshine. The autumnal equinox marks the moment when the sun crosses over the equator and enters the skies above the southern hemisphere. OK, If you want to get technical about it, the sun does nothing at all. It's earth that does the moving, relative. In its orbit around Sol, the earth remains tilted in the same direction. That means for half the year, the northern hemisphere points toward the sun, and for the other half the southern hemisphere does so. And us northerners are losing our reign. The angle of our rays will become more and more depressing -- we will have long shadows even mid-day. Our days will become so short that Monday through Friday, working folk will hardly see the light of them.
The winter solstice is a celebratory time... We have reached the bottom and are on our way out, slow as the ride will be. The vernal equinox, also happy. After all, we get the sun in our hemisphere again. Summer solstice, despite marking the beginning of day-light shortening, is also celebratory... especially if you're a teacher and a plant-lover, as I am, the start of summer is nothing but good. But the autumnal equinox... no celebrating on my end. I mean, I do love a crisp fall day, bright colors and all. And I appreciate all the seasons -- cold and heat, wetness and dryness. But I do like sun. I like to wake up when it's light. And I those low sun angles really make me gloomy. So in the end, beautiful as snow can be, I'm happiest when the sun's on our side.