The vernal equinox is today! The hours of daylight and the hours of night are perfectly equal and that means that finally, dim winter makes the turn and advanced toward bright summer. Traditionally this was a day of celebration because March was the time when food was essential. With winter stores were depleted and summer’s bounty still months away, truly it was a time to think about empty stomachs. March was called the hungry moon for a reason. The one thing agricultural people could count on to eat was eggs. The more daylight a hen perceives, the more she will lay and so the waxing sun meant eggs were on the menu.
One of the old traditional customs we still practice today is the painting of eggs. Although many people just paint them for Easter (not ’till April 8th) in our family, the spring equinox seems to be the more fitting date for coloring these elliptic delights. While we paint we think about the balance between day and night, how important the sunshine is for the coming harvest (albeit a small one in our humble garden) and the increasing power of the sunshine, which we almost forget completely in winter’s dark night.
For us it means a time to start indoor seeds and lovingly watch them grow into little seed babies. A time to clean out old clutter and have a garage sale. A time to put on our rain boots and splash through the puddles. A time to watch the return of the robins- always a welcome sight (I saw the first one yesterday). A time to count our blessings because even though it’s the hungry moon we have good food to eat and we are healthy. And, of course, a time to eat and paint eggs!