As I look out at the reflection of brilliant sunlight on the mountains of snow in our yard, the birch trees casting long shadows across the expanse, I rejoice that our solar panels are once again functioning (thanks to a young friend who climbed up on the roof and cleared the snow). Today is hailed as the first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. That’s sort of a joke here in Alaska, if by Spring you mean daffodils and fruit trees bursting into bloom.
What this day means to me is that there are roughly equal amounts of daylight and dark all over the world. The word “Equinox” comes from Latin equi (equal) and nox (night). While in our culture we don’t do much to celebrate this amazing fact, it seems significant to me. In Alaska it is particularly significant because it is only at the times of equinox that our days are sort of “normal.” From here on until the Summer Solstice, the amount of light will rapidly increase until there is no dark. But just for today, we hover with the rest of the world in equality.
If today the whole earth experiences equal amounts of light and dark, then can we also consider that each person on earth stands in equal relation to the Great Mystery/God/Creation?
“It is a stony road ahead but our faith will uphold us; the power to act is God’s power which is mediated through each of us as we give and receive support one from another. We can all listen if we will to the sounds of the earth, tuning into it with joy.”
(The book of Christian discipline of the Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain 25.02)
So one way to celebrate this day is to tune into the turning earth and recognize the equality of all beings under the sun.