9/22/08

Autumn Equinox: A Time For Equal Reflection


Equal days and nights have me thinking about what I'm planning for my next project. It tells us (at least in this part of the Earth!) that winter is not far away. It is the Autumn Equinox, and after today the nights grow longer. Daylight at the Equinox is slightly longer than the night, partly because the Earth’s atmosphere bends sunlight hidden just under the horizon.

At the poles the equinox marks the transition from 24 hours of night to 24 hours of daylight. And at the equator, the Equinox marks the moment when the Sun is directly overhead.

Since ancient times, people thought the Equinox influenced the weather. Storms hit in late summer during the first Roman invasion of England by Julius Caesar in 55BC, leaving him short of seaworthy ships and exposed to the risk of being stranded in England for the winter without provisions. In his account of the Gallic wars, he wrote: “Since the time of the Equinox was near, he did not consider that, with his ships out of repair, the voyage ought to be deferred till winter.” It is just that storms are more frequent in the autumn.

Another piece of folklore comes with Saint Matthew’s Day, September 21, a key date for forecasting the coming months: “Matthew’s Day, bright and clear, brings good wine in next year.”

And according to The Unique Bedside Book of Weather Lore: “A quiet week before the Autumn Equinox and after, the temperature will continue higher than usual into the winter.” In fact, the weather on September 20, 21, and 22 is supposed to dictate the weather for the rest of autumn. Given the great weather at the moment the prospects for the rest of the year look good.

So what are your thoughts on the Equinox? Is it a time of year that you do special things or work on future plans?

Kaye

6 comments:

Cate said...

I think Equinoxes are important times of the year, all things being equal! And you're right, it's a good time to make plans, writing or otherwise.

Helen Hardt said...

Your posts are always so thought provoking, Kaye. This is my favorite time of the year -- I love the colors, the smells, the beauty of the harvest. I'm a big home canner, and putting away food for my family during this time gives me a sense of accomplishment. As for writing? This is when I gear up for NaNoWriMo in November, which I feel is perfectly timed for optimal output.

Helen

Shelley Munro said...

Since I'm on the opposite side of the world, it's Spring Equinox for me. This time of year always gives me a sense of hope and expectation. It's my favorite time of the year.

Linda Banche said...

I love the fall. October is my favorite month of the year. The summer heat and humidity are gone, and the trees are turning colors.

Kaye Manro said...

Helen preparing for NaNo is a good thing to do!

I love Equinoxes too, Cate.

It's so nice to be heading into spring, Shelley.

Linda, Fall is the time I like to speed up on my writing.

Suzanne Brandyn said...

I am also on the opposite side of the world experiencing the wonderful fragrance of spring, the exotic warm air, and the abundance of blooming flowers.
I love this time of the year, can't you tell. lol
It gives me an invigorating sense of energy.
I hibernate in winter. :)