Musings on Equinoxes

Maybe it’s indicative of how exhausted people become with winter that Spring has so many different starting pistols.

Puxatawney Phil gets his annual fifteen minutes every Candlemas. Later on we “spring” forward. Some people (I just learned this) mark the start of Spring from the day after President’s Day. Pitchers and catchers report in February for Spring Training.

When the calendar and astronomical reckoning declares Spring, it’s one of those things where you’re like, O.K., but where’s the beef? My feet are cold. This wind cuts. Sure I bought oil for the lawnmower and cherry trees are budding, but let’s not kid ourselves: half of Asheville grilled out in the first week of January, too, and nobody planned then to be lawnchair sunning the next day. Winter isn’t finished–it’s doing the same “Not…Dead…Yet!” routine we see every March into April. Like the German fancypants dancer out for vengeance against Bruce Willis’s John McClain in the first Die Hard.

Saturday’s supposed to bring snow, and them who plant before Mother’s Day will know better next year.

But it is a joy kept in a shelf all its own to see the days get longer, and few things in life can compete with the happiness of the year’s first shorts-outside.

At 7:02 A.M. this morning Spring officially kicked off in the Northern Hemisphere. What for us is the Vernal Equinox is the Autumnal Equinox on the other side of the equator. In Iran and other countries with large Persian populations the new year is being celebrated. Here at the Brewery and in every other working Brewery on the globe we’re celebrating (wittingly or un) the ancient Mesopotamian festival of Akitu, or, the cutting of the barley. Someday, soon and finally, winter’s last chilly gasp will thaw and recede into the deep earth, beneath the booming flowers and unruly lawns, and we will yawn into the warmth, beers in hand, beers sweating on hands, game on the radio and neighborhoods buzzing with lawnmowers, kids splashing in pools, kids sprinting through long, long days, winter a memory impossible to feel. We will wake up in the dark and turn on air conditioners. We will sleep under only sheets.

It’s going to be great.