Public Domain Image via Wikimedia Commons
The Autumnal Equinox marks one of two points in the earth's annual orbit when day and night are both twelve hours long, virtually everywhere on earth. For me, it's a time of reflection, and I can't avoid a certain melancholy as day inexorably gives way to night and the summer draws to a close. Soon, much that was alive will be dead or dormant, and I begin to feel the loss even before it happens. The rate at which daylength changes is fastest at the equinoxes. Here on the 40th parallel, every revolution of the earth costs us another three or four minutes of daylight. The rate of change is more extreme to our north, and dimishes to the south. Indeed, spring is just beginning in the southern hemisphere, but here in the north, we begin our descent towards the darkness of winter. At least there's the promise of a new spring on the other side.