By Susan Ksiezopolski
A favourite time of year for many – our spring equinox! This year it arrives on March 20 2023, the day where light and darkness will take up equal space and a turning point for light to linger around a bit longer, making our nights shorter.
During this time, the sun will pass directly over the equator on its way to travel north and in doing so, both our Southern and Northern Hemispheres receive an equal amount of light and the length of day and night are equal everywhere on earth!
On this day, the spring equinox, we also greet the season of spring. This marks the beginning of the expansion of the number of hours spent in daylight for the northern hemisphere. As the north pole leans towards the sun and this becomes the turning point of diminishing darkness. For many of us, this means a time when we experience more creative energy within our minds and bodies. The increased amount of light helps to increase our imagination and creates a gentle lifting of the dark fog of winter. In winter, the grey days and long nights may lead us to withdraw, go inward and curl up and spend time in solitude and silence. With the emergence of more light around us, we can tap into our own light and awakening energies. A great way to do this is to give ourselves permission to engage with the rhythms and cycles of the earth. Through our own creative practises, we can allow and welcome the light to unfold within us and to blossom along with the sprouting spring buds and shed the winter’s restless stuck energies. This is a great time to release cobwebs of winter and step forward to reconnect with our own internal compass, our still silent voice within us that may have been hibernating inside the winter darkness.
The spring equinox is about celebrating and taking the time to raise our energy levels– our Persian friends do this in their observance of Nowrus (New Day). It is rooted in the traditions of the Iranian people, however; it has been celebrated by diverse communities for over 3,000 years in South, Western and Central Asia, the Black Sea Basin, and the Balkans. Some of the traditional customs of celebrating Nowruz incorporate fire and water, ritual dances, gift exchanges, poetry recitals, symbolic objects and more. The Nowruz customs differ between the diverse peoples and countries that celebrate the festival. It is a ritual of honouring the connection to the sun’s life force, expanding its power over the approaching spring months, ushering in a sense of renewal and hope.
During this time, many people also schedule some wellbeing rituals to enjoy the benefits of greater energy, and improved mood. Many health care advocates consider the Equinox as an optimum opportune time to detoxify, to ward off spring fever as the dark chill of winter gives way to the sunny warmth of spring. Some people may find themselves in the throes of restlessness, additional energy, and a dreamy starry-eyed state. Other symptoms of spring fever, according to Michael Terman, (an expert on biorhythms at the New York–Presbyterian Hospital), include increased heart rate, appetite loss and mood swings. Therefore, before spring fever hits allow yourself to shift during this time into the flow of wonder and curiosity. Make time to fuel your creativity and renewal, explore new discoveries and learnings, invite new possibilities to flow into your lives.
This spring, make a commitment to support your wellbeing and get busy making art, exploring nature and watching things come back to life again after the winter hiatus. Nature itself is waking up from her long slumber and being reborn. Don’t miss it! Spring into creativity to give yourself the same awakening. Do something fun, be playful. Invite yourself to come and play with us at JCHAS, Come join in on one or both programs:
Introduction to Watercolour Printmaking – Wed 9:30am – 12:30pm. $25 includes materials
Open Art Studio first Sunday of every month 1:30pm – 4:00pm (free for members) – pay what you can – min $5 donation appreciated.