Blessings of Growth

to you as we Welcome Spring…

This is the time of year when winter slowly leaves us and the sun and rain make way for the long-dormant bulbs to emerge and the sweet-scented blossoms to begin to bloom on the trees. We hear the birds as they herald the great news that Spring is here! Spring is a time of rebirth and revival, full of new possibilities!

   This season brings increasing daylight, warming temperatures, and the rebirth of flora and fauna. The word equinox is derived from the Latin words meaning “equal night.” Days and nights are approximately equal everywhere and the Sun rises and sets due east and west. People have recognized the significance of the Vernal Equinox for thousands of years. There is no shortage of rituals and traditions surrounding the coming of Spring. Many early peoples celebrated for the basic reason that their food supplies would soon be restored. The date is significant in Christianity because Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the full moon after the vernal equinox. It is also probably no coincidence that the Egyptians built the Great Sphinx so that it points directly towards the rising sun on the day of the vernal equinox.

   The first day of Spring also marks the beginning of Nowruz, the Persian New Year. In Greek mythology, it was the time when Persephone returned from the underworld, and everything bloomed again. April 1st, in fact, used to be considered New Year’s Day, and anyone who didn’t realize this was considered an April Fool. Most of us love to celebrate the season. We observe Arbor Day by planting trees and on Earth Day we clean up our parks, riverbanks, and wilderness areas. We take trips to see the tulips or cherry blossoms in bloom. We‘re not alone in that spring tradition; In Japan, millions of people flock to their parks for “Hanami” their cherry blossom festival. And all over the world, major religious events are celebrated in the Spring. Easter, named after the ancient Saxon goddess Eeostre, commemorates the resurrection of Christ. Passover marks the Jewish peoples flight to freedom from Egypt. Spring in all its beauty is indeed a time of rebirth and renewal.