Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The first day of Spring

brought a new little niece to me, and a new little daughter to my brother Joe, and his wife Sarah. We knew for a short while that today would be the day, because my sister-in-law was going to be induced, but it was still a delight and surprise when I got the message that she came. It was also a delight and surprise when I woke up today and realized that it was officially Spring. Really, what better day to be born? What better way to begin this perfect season than with a birth? The season itself exemplifies all things life, all things hope.

I still remember a day in Utah that was an in between Winter/Spring day. It was cold outside. And I was walking to school. And there was snow on the ground. When I got to the campus and was walking up the dreaded hill (the one on the South side, near the duck pond), I saw daffodils springing forth out of that cold, hard ground. I was still. I was still because things that look dead aren't really dead, and Spring is the best time to remember that. On other blustery days I would consciously remind myself, "There is Spring. There is hope." The reminder soon became a mantra to me. Or perhaps a prayer. I would think it so often and so sincerely. It may have been the only way I made it through those short days and long nights.

I also remember other Vernal Equinoxes, when there wasn't a baby to celebrate. Just the season itself, and its accompanying promise of warmth and light. That was enough. And so we gathered together, to eat, and drink and share. There were multiple go around the circle activities, where persons present could read a poem or scripture, or perhaps pass around a picture. We would also say our favorite thing about Spring, just as we previously sat (or danced) in a circle sharing our hopes and joys of Winter. And Summer. And Fall. Sometimes during Spring Equinox we planted seeds carrying wishes written in very small hand. Other times just scraps of paper. Twice we dyed eggs naturally with onion skins (and other things). Once they came out the deepest red. Another time they looked red in the water, but came out a warm yellow.

The next year I read a little book, called "The Tree that Survived the Winter," because my year had been a very hard year. One that felt like winter.  (It is really a marvel that I survived.) Someone inevitably talked about symbolism. I probably also talked about Persian New Year. There were always candles. There was nearly always flute playing and jumping over those candles. There was always chanting. Quiet to loud, with strands of words that meant Spring to us. I don't remember them now, except "Verdant" and "Green," but there were so many. One for each person.

This year my word would be "Scarlet." And if I were given three words, they would be, "Scarlet Rose Hunt," the babe's whole name. If I were given four, I would add, "Hope," because that is what Spring signifies for me the very most. One more fact about the baby: she is just a few ounces short of 7 pounds (which I suppose is not a very complete fact, but it is the best I can do). Also, I love this picture my brother posted.

I think it is something about Scarlet's big sisters peeking in at her, with curiosity mingled with awe, mingled with hesitation. And I love these old Boston/Equinox pictures. And each person/memory associated with them.

Circa 2011 (don't let the time stamps deceive you):

Circa 2010:

Circa 2009:

1 comment:

Lia said...

I love the red eggs!

And hurray for babies born on the first day of spring! That is such a great birthday!