we approach the second anniversary of this column, another special
event occurs. Tomorrow, March 20 at 2:16 p.m. EST is the Vernal
Equinox, the first day of spring. The earth tilts, momentarily placing
the sun directly over the equator giving night and day each twelve-hours.
Vernal means spring; Equinox means equal night.
is the time of balance when uncooked eggs will stand on end. Before
Easter was celebrated (determined as the first Sunday after the
first Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox), some celebrated a Saxon
deity called Eostre, the goddess of spring. A bird saved her, the
story goes, but its wings were frozen by winter, turning the bird
into a hare, a long-eared rabbit that could lay eggs, the object
of fertility. Hmmm.
Ancient Druids believed oak trees were sacred objects. They prayed
to trees in spring for sunshine, rain and to make the earth fertile.
The Celts believed evil spirits of cold and darkness had held their
sun god prisoner all winter. Each year the god escaped and brought
sunlight and warmth back to the earth.
Spring is a magical, celebratory time, so I decided to find out
what people feel about it. I inquired around asking two questions.
Here’s the response.
How do you know it's Spring?
“I can go out without a jacket.”
“I hear different birds. Flowers, trees become green and wet.”
“The red, red robin comes bob, bob, bobbin’ along.”
“When my wife says, “How pretty, the crocuses are open.”
“Leaves are back.”
“Corn snow on the slopes.”
“Early in the morning it's still and that special smell comes
up from the earth.”
“I start shaving my legs.”
“Auntie Mame, the white Canadian goose, is back.”
“It's spring when you drink a cold beer to refresh you, not
to warm you up.”
“When the Witch Hazel blooms and it’s time to plant
“It’s spring when the chattering blackbird migration,
wakes me in the morning.”
“Robins hopping through the crocus bed.”
“The Polara’s on the road.”
“Robins, flowers, longer, warmer days.”
“The scent of the last unfrozen bit of winter, the refreshing
earthy scent in the air. I smell life.”
“The redwing blackbird’s call, daffodil shoots under
last autumn’s leaves.”
“It's a feeling like I want to run forever.”
“When you can smell the water in the air, it's spring.”
“Our finches have new clothes on, bright yellow, wild onions
rant, pop up overnight, and the feeling of immortality takes over
me first thing in the morning.”
“When daffodils are up, freshness is in the air.”
“When the purple crocuses bloom in my front garden and daffodils
“The quality of the morning sun and where it rises, the trees
beginning to swell. The bitter air has a softness winter air does
“The narcissus bulbs I thought I dug up last year to build
the new back porch are peeking out around its edges.”
What does Spring mean to you?
“People are happy, nicer.”
“Seems like the beginning of the year. Allergies.”
“Means I can put the snow blower away, maybe.”
“The lure of still-hidden beaches on Cape Cod.”
“New challenges, new projects, new tennis sneakers.”
“Golf clubs start making noise in the basement.”
“Warm days, cool nights, time to get frisky.”
“I made it through the winter. I don't want to die in the
“Spring means the 3 R's: Rebirth, Regeneration, Remittance
(to the IRS).”
“An increase of light, green and shades of yellow and blue.
I cannot wait to go outside and put my hands into the body of the
“Throwing off the wool afghan and heading out to the garden
to dig in the dirt.”
“The natural progression of things; rebirth, beauty and lower
“I made it past another birthday!”
“The Polara’s on the road.”
“New beginnings, plants and trees come back to life, the sun
“Fresh starts, renewal, soon emerald green grass, buds popping,
birds singing before sunrise. Letting fresh air in the house.”
“We made it through another winter, but sadly another year
of our lives has slipped by.”
“Hope, joy, and wonderful colors everywhere.”
“Freedom from cabin fever and slippery roads.”
“Spring means new projects, warmer days, no coat.”
“The excitement of seeing green growth under old leaves in
the garden. Nothing compares to nature awakening.”
“It's Gods way of giving us another chance to do what's right.”
“It’s morning's first light after a long night, it’s
the season of hope.”
My dearest friend puts it this way, “It’s spring, anything
can happen!” I like that.
Happy Spring. We’ll talk next time From The Road.