Monday, March 20, 2006

equal night

With a photo, you can capture expressions, with luck, emotions, a snapshot of a bigger span that can be remembered in its entirety when prompted with the snapshot. But some moments are as fleeting as the moment captured in a photo. On a clear and beautiful day, that may be as fleeting as 1/1000sec. On an overcast, cold, dreary day like today, one can capture a longer moment. If you hold very still, perhaps you can capture as much as 1/60sec. On a dark night, one can capture a very long moment. But no matter the moment captured, the looking at the photo is frozen, condensed – a span that doesn’t pass.

The moment that these pictures attempt to capture was the moment that the sun passed directly over the equator. That seems so abstract, distant, conceptual, to try to capture on film. Is anything actually affected by such a moment? But of course. I brought Allison home this afternoon at nearly 1:00 o’clock. The sun passed over the equator at 1:26. In that span of 26 minutes, the dogwoods opened their petals to greet the arrival of Spring. Something shifted in me as 1:26 approached. An anticipation, hope, an inner smile. I roamed about the yard as the earth’s tilt reached a place where the poles were equidistant from the sun. I contemplated our path. I thought backward and forward. I thought about last week’s 85 degrees and today’s 49. I thought about how many factors play together to produce the conditions we identify with the seasons.

The waning days of winter yielded summer temps. The advent of spring is announced with chilly overcast skies and occasional tears from above. For the next few weeks we will enjoy, or endure fickle temps and precarious precipitation. But the results of the arrival of spring are begun and will continue to mature regardless of those factors. The trees are sporting baby green. The dogwoods are opening, the azaleas are bursting their fireworks display. One after another, the cycle that is le sacre du printemps, will run, and each new birth, in its turn, will color my world with hope, promise, and smiles.