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Vernal Equinox

I love that word, “vernal,” which literally means “of or relating to spring.” And equinox, too–equal night–when the sun sits directly above the equator, causing exactly equal hours of day and night in that part of the globe. We in the Northern hemisphere don’t exactly have that but we call March 20 the Vernal Equinox, anyway.

Anticipation of Spring is a wonderful thing as we plod along through the vagaries of winter weather. It is lovely to daydream about what might be stirring underground and within the branches of trees and shrubs. Tiny little bits of life busily organizing themselves to push forth into the warm sunshine. What might it be like deep inside those dark places?

Now it is all beginning. Ahh. The treasure hunt for wildflowers, buds, blooms, color, baby and migrating birds, and delicate greens is on. The courtship of blue and green has begun in nature’s ballroom of sunshine and raindrops. All manner of creatures are stirring, too, in the mud, dreaming of their lives above ground beginning once more. And already I’ve heard the peepers!

I always feel that living where there are four seasons offers the gift of anticipation. We know Spring will come. It’s a given. We don’t ruin it with expectation, as we do often ruin things in life. You can put as much pressure, hope and desire on Spring as you want and it won’t be chased away or ruined. It won’t fail us. It is infallibly itself and will definitely arrive, no matter what we ask of it. And we can rest in the knowing that it will be beautiful.

My paintings, my pickleball skill, my meditation practice might very well be adversely affected by my expectations, taking me out of the moment and stealing my joy in the doing. But Spring exacts no such price. I can daydream, hope, imagine and picture it with great anticipation, and what does it do? It comes and does what it does and it loves everything to pieces, no matter what. And for that I am very grateful.

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke

“(such a sky and such a sun
i never knew and neither did you
and everybody never breathed
quite so many kinds of yes)”
— e.e. cummings, Collected Poems

Spring)and everyone’s
in love and flowers pick themselves”
― e.e. cummings, Collected Poems

“Spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm.” ― John Muir, The Wilderness World of John Muir

If you’re looking for my cards or art, you’ll find all of that on my website. And if you enjoy these letters, feel free to forward this one to anyone you think might like it. And if someone forwarded this one to you, you can sign up here to receive the letters right in your Inbox. Finally, you’ll find past letters and poems here on my blog.

Thanks for listening,

P.S. MerryThoughts is the name of my first book, out of print at the moment. The word is a British one, referring both to a wishbone and to the ritual of breaking the wishbone with the intention of either having a wish granted or being the one who marries first, thus the “merry thoughts.”

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