Happy Spring! A Note from Norman Rosenthal
With the change of seasons, it seems like a good time to say hello to old friends and welcome new ones.
From time to time, I send out a note to share with you some of the things that are going on in my world in the hope that they will resonate with what is going on in yours.
In the US and, indeed, all over the world, spring arrives at different times. I spoke to a friend in Arizona the other day, who kept sneezing through the conversation because the flowers there were out in bloom transmitting their pollens along with their colorful signals and fragrances. Cross-pollination, their key to survival has its unfortunate side-effects for those of us who are too busy sneezing to enjoy the spring colors.
For others, spring has not yet arrived. In fact, it is hard to pinpoint exactly when it does arrive – psychologically that is, as opposed to being just a date on the calendar. In that regard, I always return to the lines by Henry David Thoreau, imagining him stepping out of his shack at Walden Pond in New England (just as perhaps we step out of doors each morning to get the newspaper) and writing:
At the end of winter there is a season
in which we are daily expecting spring
and finally a day when it arrives.
A flock of geese
now in the dark flying low over the pond . . .
I stood at my door and could hear their wings.
I hope that day arrives soon for all of you. We are less than a week away from the vernal equinox, which is not only the date when day equals night, but also when the rate of change of daylength is at its highest. For those of us who are especially sensitive to changes in light, it can be an exhilarating time or even a difficult one. If you are one of these people, check out a few blogs I have written on the subject.
To end with a curiosity, can you really balance an egg on its end on the spring equinox?
I remember seeing someone do so once and marveling at the mystical (or at least physical) forces at work on that particular day.
However, I made a cardinal error. As a scientist, I should have known better.
Every experiment requires a control condition.
It turns out that with enough skill and perseverance, you can balance an egg on its end on any day of the year! (see: http://www.snopes.com/science/equinox.asp)
Ah well, we will just have to dispense with that myth and enjoy the other aspects of spring instead: the warm weather, longer days, flowers and . . . . did I forget something? Yes, love! Let us turn to the Tennyson who wrote famously on that subject, “In spring, a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.”
In my experience, that applies to women too.
So, enjoy all that spring has to offer. And, if you run out of things to do, you can always try balancing an egg on its end.
Earth’s Equixox inforgarphic