Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Happy Spring!

The Echoing Green
by William Blake

The Sun does arise,
And make happy the skies;
The merry bells ring
To welcome the Spring;
The skylark and thrush,
The birds of the bush,
Sing lounder around
To the bells' chearful sound,
While our sports shall be seen
On the Echoing Green.

Old John, with white hair,
Does laugh away care,
Sitting under the oak,
Among the old folk.
They laugh at our play,
And soon they all say:
"Such, such were the joys
When we all, girls & boys,
In our youth time were seen
On the Echoing Green.''

Till the little ones, weary,
No more can be merry;
The sun does descend,
And our sports have on end.
Round the laps of their mothers
Many sisters and brothers,
Like birds in their nest,
Are ready for rest,
And sports no more seen
On the darkening Green.
Here is an interesting article in The New York Times about the vernal equinox. Apparently, some calendars mark the first day of spring as March 21, and some as March 20.
But as I soon discovered in my attempt to resolve the calendar crisis, the vernal equinox in 2007 has the added snag of arriving at the querulous hour of just seven minutes past midnight, universal time, on March 21. Coordinated Universal Time is what used to be called Greenwich Mean Time, but the new name doesn’t make it any more universal than it ever was, and it remains a time zone centered in Britain. For those of us in the United States, the vernal equinox arrives while it is still the evening of March 20.
Fascinating stuff. So, whether you are celebrating today or tomorrow (or not at all, I suppose), Happy Spring!

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