Equinox observed

Sunrise over Rock Sound on the March 20, 2010 Equinox. Because this photo was taken on the equinox, the Sun marks due east on the horizon

So I just wanted to share with you a little tidbit that I shared with the students the other day at dinner circle.  It starts with what should be a simple question:

Who can tell me why we call spring, “spring”?  Anyone?

I certainly didn’t know the answer until I looked it up.  Apparently it is short for two heirloom expressions: “Spring of the Leaf” and “Spring of the Year.”  The first is fairly obvious in that spring is the time of year when the leaves “spring” forth from deciduous trees.

The second is a little more subtle.  The “Spring of the Year” refers to the new year.  In fact, as little as 260 years ago–when Ben Franklin and George Washington were the age your sons and daughters are now–the new year was celebrated just after the March equinox.

So on that note, I’d like to wish everyone out there a HAPPY NEW YEAR!