Vernal Equinox

A Study in Extremes

The shadow of the contemplator cast sixty feet down the center of a gravel road at equinox sunrise.
Walking Contemplation
Equinox Sunrise



As if a normal equinox itself—a concept paradoxical to begin with, yet simultaneously an icon of momentary balance—were not enough, this year’s vernal equinox was enormously more conflicted than most, don’t you think?

Just as the northern hemisphere made its annual transition from yang within yin, to yang within yang—the most yang, the most ascendent, expansive, the most rocket-like, ohboy-here-we-go quarter of the year—Western civilization slipped, with barely time for a whimper, into the most yin (withdrawn) state of existence most of us have ever witnessed.  Unless we get slammed with a second round again next year, à la 1918, it’s possible we’ll never again witness another such stark contrast of this magnitude.


The Annual Cycle


The juxtaposition of these two diametrically opposed phenomena is what has so many individuals coming unglued: 

  • an annual, yet dramatic upward shift in planetary energy
  • a downward psychic spiral for the whole of humanity inspired by a potentially deadly virus—each speeding along adjacent to each other like trains passing in the night—in opposite directions.

When we’re married to the joys of the physical world and its expected rhythms, and then denied them by their opposite, it can be unsettling to everyone from city slickers like Big Orange, to climbers and nature lovers eager for relief from cabin fever.  

In my own experience, the intensity has had much broader implications than the simple effects of hunkering down against random and unseen attacks on our physical existence.  No, this is a shift far more profound than a mere increase in awareness of mortality.  It’s as if everything we know is being brought under a blinding light of examination and revelation—both globally and personally.  Will we learn anything?  Will we act intelligently in response to what we’re shown?  That question and its answer are likely to be a much more personal experience than a global one, although a myriad possibilities await equally in both arenas.  

And this contemplation doesn’t even dare glance at the surprises lurking in climate change.

Experience grows richer by the moment.





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