Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Spring Vernal Equinox

     Today the world hangs in balance. Not from political, fiscal, religious, or cultural ideologies, but in the equality of sunlight and darkness. With each new day in the Northern Hemisphere, the duration of light will lengthen and come to dominate our measures of time; below the equator, darkness will rise in prominence. Day and night, balanced in proportion, the hemispheres now start their slide toward the opposing solstices.
     This is the first day of spring, the symbolic beginning of new life, a time of procreation and resurrection, a celebration of the dawn, Eos, Aurora and Eostre. But in America, we observe this solemn nexus with crass indifference. Beginning today, it will be impossible to avoid the commercialization of gardens, lawns, mulch, barbecues, patio furniture and all things outdoors. But I would suggest that you delay the rush to buy your vegetable seedlings, or the need to change the oil in your lawnmower, and put off tilling that sleepy flower bed. Instead listen to the spring.
     Growing up in a subsistence family of hunters and fishermen, living in the rural farm lands of southern New Jersey, I learned from an early age that Nature plays music, an orchestral opus which evolves as her seasons change. Listen to her. Discover her majestic sounds. Her composition is much more than the trill of her songbirds, the trebled lilt of a mountain stream, the wisp in the leaves of the canopy, or the deep rhythm of a distant thundercloud. It is all of this, plus so much more.
     Most people can't hear Nature; her music is overpowered by the ambient noise of people, traffic, television, radio, iPods, and the mechanical drone of civilization, the chaos of urbanization and suburbanization. But she is still singing, if only you would listen. Take a Thoreau-esque walk in the woods, leave all of that toxic noise behind and you can't miss her symphony of sensual stimuli. She will not only delight your ears, but caress your skin, sweeten the taste of air, manifest in aromatic therapy and produce divinely colored vistas. She sings to all of your senses. It is the lure of her song that brought me to the Smoky Mountains, back to the harmonious peace of country living.
     Her music is modulating with the change of the season. Take some time, find a place and listen.

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