Spring is Sprung 2012

The Sun & the ecliptic rotation around the Ear...
Image via Wikipedia
 The sun is in green above

Hurray- tonight is officially the last night of winter !

The Vernal, or Spring Equinox on March 20th officially marks the beginning of Spring  and hopefully bring a spring to our winter wearied souls .

An equinox refers to the time of the year when the Sun crosses the plane of the Earth's equator, making night and day equal length all over the planet. 

At many times in the history of mankind these times of transition, or in-between times, were considered sacred.

For lo, the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone;

The flowers appear on the earth,

the time of singing has come

and the voice of the turtledove

is heard in our land.

The fig tree puts forth its figs,

and the vines are in blossom;

they give forth fragrance.
Arise my love, my fair one,
and come away.

~ The Song of Solomon, 2:11-13

 Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. 

Early Egyptians built the Great Sphinx so that it points directly toward the rising Sun on the day of the vernal equinox.

The Vernal Equinox was celebrated long before the Celts, by the Megalithic people who lived in Britain before the Celts, the Romans and the Saxons. Ancient Greeks, Ancient Romans, Ancient Mayans all celebrated the equinox, as did Native Americans. Ancient Persians called it NawRaz, their New Year's Day.

A cluster of megalithic cairns from ancient times are scattered through the hills at Loughcrew, County Meath, about 55 miles northwest of Dublin, Ireland.

 Loughcrew Cairn is a passage tomb which is aligned with the vernal and autumnal equinoxes so that the light from the rising sun penetrates a long corridor and illuminates a backstone, which is decorated with sunwheel carvings and symbols.

The Neolithic predecessors of the Celts aligned numerous megalithic monuments with the solstices and the equinoxes.

The celebrations at the vernal equinox anticipated or celebrated the first ploughing of the fields, which signified the land’s annual resurrection from the long, cold sleep of winter, inaugurating a new season of fertility. 

Homes, lanterns, hearths and children were all given a renewed blessing with earth. Crossing the forehead with soil as a symbol of one's connection with the earth was one way of enacting this.

 Crops were typically sown at this time, a time of transition.

Household animals were often led out to wooded hills to drink from freely flowing springs to cleanse and strengthen them, symbolically, for summer’s work.

                                                               Own Image from my kitchen today

                                                                Own Image from my garden today

 Source of poems Huffington Post 2011. ( Images gleaned from various sources)

William Blake's "The Echoing Green," from his "Songs of Innocence and of Experience," highlights the joys of spring. 

But as with many of his "Songs of Innocence," it also hints at the lessons of experience, speaking to the ephemerality -- not just of spring, but of human life. 

 The sporting children are juxtaposed with old folk under the oak, and by the end of the poem, the echoing green has become "the darkening green."

The sun does arise,
And make happy the skies.
The merry bells ring
To welcome the spring.

                                                                    Skylark from here

 The skylark and thrush,
The birds of the bush,
Sing louder around,
To the bells' cheerful sound,
While our sports shall be seen
On the echoing green. 

                                                                       Thrush from here

Old John with white hair
Does laugh away care,
Sitting under the oak,
Among the old folk.

They laugh at our play,
And soon they all say:
'Such, such were the joys
When we all, girls and boys,
In our youth-time were seen
On the echoing green.' 

Till the little ones weary
No more can be merry;
The sun does descend,
And our sports have an end.


Image above and below from here

Round the laps of their mother
Many sisters and brothers,

Like birds in their nest,
Are ready for rest;

And sport no more seen
On the darkening green.

D.H. Lawrence's "The Enkindled Spring" is similarly filled with energy and motion. Lawrence compares spring to a bonfire -- an intriguing choice, since flames are both beautiful and destructive. 

While spring led Hopkins to consider the fall of mankind, it led Lawrence to consider his own spirit: "And what fountain of flame am I," he asks, "among / This leaping combustion of spring?"

 Black thorn blossom in Spring from here

This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,
Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between
Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.

I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration
Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze 
Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,

Faces of people streaming across my gaze.
And I, what fountain of fire am I among
This leaping combustion of spring? My spirit is tossed
About like a shadow buffeted in the throng
Of flames, a shadow that's gone astray, and is lost.
In his sonnet "Spring," Gerard Manley Hopkins captures the energy of a world infused with warmth and life again and the poem is packed with motion.
 In one effervescent line, he asks, "What is all this juice and all this joy?" He says pring is a taste of paradise -- of Eden before the fall. Experience it, he says, "before it cloy," before we fall again, in a sense, and grow weary of it.
Nothing is so beautiful as spring --
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush's eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;

                                                            Glassy pear tree blossom from here

The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness;

                                                                   Image of blue rush from here

 the racing lambs too have fair their fling.
What is all this juice and all this joy?

                                                                     Racing lambs from here

A strain of the earth's sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. -- Have, get, before it cloy,

Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,

Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid's child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

Morning Has Broken Cat Stevens 

A song of praise and thanks for God's creation

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments: