Just a Little Light: Spring Equinox and the Healing of New Beginnings
Certain song lyrics crystalize a raindrop — a rolling truth pebble — synthesizing everything you need to get by, to believe in, “to give me just a little sweetness, just a little sweetness, just a little light.”
That lyric from Brent Mydland, whom some would argue was the Grateful Dead’s finest keyboardist, really lays it out on the line in the winter of this pandemic. It feels like a burning call in the middle of winter for the Vernal Equinox — the first crest of Spring, when sunlight strikes the geometric center of the equator in an equalizing balancing of darkness and light, wholeness redeemed.
As Mydland sings in Just a Little Light: “We’re all soldiers in the armies of the night.” And in this gloomy pandemic winter, we’re all feeling that gnaw of the bone marrow, plunging us deep into the Dark Winter of the Soul — no Netflix & chill about it.
I gotta admit this pandemic’s feeling pretty dark — no live music, stuck crawling through living room walls like an Appalachian snake, nothing but hand-puppet friends to talk to. In the dregs of winter, losing your mind is a universal truth, a harmonica-slinging, low down dirty blues everyone on the planet can relate to these days.
Fear not: the Vernal Equinox is coming — light and balance cresting just over the horizon, March 20, 2021. Vaccines, warm toes, and cuddle parties are waiting out there somewhere, ready to snuggle.
Recharged Toes & Other Metaphors
An equinox is that instant of time when the plane of the Earth’s equator passes through the geometric center of the sun’s disk. In the northern hemisphere, March’s Vernal Equinox marks the birth of Spring. For many cultural calendars, including Assyria, Hindu, and the Persian or Iranian calendars, the Vernal Equinox is the start of the New Year, a rebirth of freshness, a toe tingling light dance.
Time is in perfect (or near perfect) balance — 12 hours of light, 12 hours of dark: Equinoxes are the only times the Sun rises and sets due east and west for every living being on Earth.
Welcome to your new life metaphor of metamorphosis and purpose.
Because in the midst of this global CluckFucktastrophie, it can be comfortably surreal to feel the rhythms of the natural world continue their cadence. It’s an ethereal reminder we all share this beautiful planet — we’re all one and in this together. The Sun rises and sets, one day at a time — we all get by, one day in front of another.
And it’s something to consider the Equinox: the Sun shining equally on both halves of the Earth in perfect balance, a reconnection of our dreams, our love, our breath — a time to step back, consider the Whole, and recharge.
Who Pissed Off Willie Nelson?
Whether COVID-19 came from bats, pangolins, minks — or somebody pissed off the Hindu Incarnate Avatar otherwise known as Willie Nelson — our sync unravelled like a cashmere sweater.
It’s time to get back to the garden — to refresh, recirculate, and breathe the wind again. It’s time to remember where we came from. It’s time to bring the balance back into sight and recognize our place in the world.
The beginning of Spring is the perfect opportunity. Throughout history, people have performed some kind of sanctimony to recognize the wholeness of the Equinox.
Take the Pyramid of Kukulcan in the ancient city of Chichen Itza, Mexico, built in 1050 BC in honour of a feathered serpent god. For the last nearly 1000 years, people have gathered on its steps to witness triangular shadows cast themselves onto the sides of the structure’s northern staircase, giving the illusion of a feathered serpent ascending. Following the ascent, the locals release butterflies, dance, and feast in a celebration of the synchronicity of time.
Or how about when shipyard employees in Annapolis, Maryland burn their socks in the annual “Burning of the Socks” festival? Workers go barefoot or at least sockless until the fall Equinox.
The Equinox reminds us of our relationship with nature and balance in the basic design of the Cosmos. Because after all, this pandemic is a direct result of mankind’s war against nature and the imbalance of industrial civilization — the inevitable outcome of a carbon fuel obsessed culture that falls off the grace of the planet because we stopped listening to nature.
This is Antithesis
Whether you dance with snakes, burn your socks, or just streak the neighbors and garden in your sparkling organic birthday suit, it can be curative to recognize the moment. How will you celebrate and commemorate the balance?
In these trying times, it’s important to take care of ourselves, rekindle and blossom. As Brent Mydland sings, be “as mighty as the flower that will grow the stones away.”
For some, that comes from yoga, meditation, sitting down to some spinning vinyl and sipping sweet peppermint tea. For others, it’s cannabis — a chlorophyll flower of herbal peace to bring it all home. Some simply enjoy a Bear Blend toke: ceremoniously recognizing the spirit of the moment and giving their prayers to the spirit of the smoke.
Whatever it is, take some time to care for yourself.
Thankfully, this Dark Night of the Soul will come to an end, eventually. Though it may seem like forever since the last Vernal Equinox when this pandemic was fresh, remember: Time and planetary rotations are relative. Live on Saturn — its Equinoxes are 14.7 Earth years apart.
“This could be just another highway, coiled up in the night
You could be just another white-tail, baby, stranded on my brights,
There’s a tingling recognition
Like the sound of distant thunder
And I begin to wonder
If the love I’ve driven under
It’s a long time coming, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel: This Equinox is the beginning of the dawn — and it’s breaking.
Day by day, we’ll get through this pandemic, eventually. Spring is returning light to this Earth with a message of peace and forgiveness. Visualize. You’re a flower; this is anthesis. Open up.
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