On Saturdays when time allows I like to read the “Saturday” section of the L.A. Times and the weekly forecast on Astroblogick. My paper was still stopped yesterday, but I read about this week’s celestial events on my mini iPad. It looks like a busy week for the planets, and we have a full moon eclipse coming, too. But the part that fascinated me is that at the exact time of the vernal equinox, “the principles of duality . . . are temporarily suspended,” and that “being centered in this fleeting moment seems to carry a sacred significance.” It reminded me of C.J. Cregg on The West Wing determined to set a raw egg upright on the table during that moment (and succeeding only after the poker game had broken up and everyone left the room). I didn’t give it another thought until this morning. This week part of my homework for my mindfulness based stress reduction class is to record the details of one experience each day on our “Pleasant Events Calendar.” So last night I wrote about eating sushi. I was intrigued by the mystery of the event, the unusual feelings it evoked in me. It wasn’t until this morning I put it together in my head with my vision of the clock beside my bed when I began eating last night. It was maybe 20 minutes after 9:00pm. (The exact time for the equinox was 9:30pm.) I’d gone downtown, picked up an avocado roll with extra ginger on my way home. I took a quick shower, climbed into bed, lamented eating so late, and relished every morsel of my sushi. I licked the wasabi and gluten free tamari from my fingers and thumbs. I cringed and savored the heat in my sinuses. And after, I sat there gazing at nothing, the empty container balanced on my belly. I felt clean and clear. Relaxed. Satisfied. Calm. Soothed. For a moment I wondered if it was the drug of the wasabi. But now I think it may have been the exact moment of the equinox working on me, all unknowing. I recorded that I felt quiet inside, hollow but not empty (the duality suspended). I felt whole. Knowing or unknowing, these moments twice each year can only do us good, I think. Happy spring equinox, everyone.
The mockingbirds seem to be celebrating the equinox today, marking this turning of the world. I have heard them singing day and night, more of them than I can ever remember. So, I think they must be heralding in this changing time. Yesterday I walked beside the creek bed with Audrey and Bear. I left them near the bridge and walked back along the path in the late dusk. The big frog choir starting up held all my attention, unconscious of my head cocked toward them as I walked. And I could hear a large gathering of birds beginning to roost in big bushy trees on the other side of the wash, their high-pitched calls coming across to me in waves as they settled in for the night. But when I left the path, it was the mockingbird songs that followed me home through the neighborhoods. They sang from the fan palm to the east, the telephone pole behind me. And when I was almost home a mockingbird was singing across the street in the tree whose name I do not know but whose smell takes me back to childhood. I felt the warm silky air against my calves, my face. This would be summer weather, I thought, almost anywhere else in the world. But here we have a chorus line of deep-voiced frogs and spiky ocotillos blooming red and the bursting of yellow Palo Verde blossoms everywhere you look. We have warm night air and mockingbirds singing their hearts out in the almost dark. Here we are in the throes of late, late spring. Happy vernal equinox. Happy solar new year, everyone.