Equinox: 1) Either of two points on the celestial sphere where the celestial equator intersects the ecliptic; 2) either of the two times each years when the sun crosses the equator and day and night are everywhere of equal length.
Think about it... for one brief moment, twice each year, there is perfect equality of light and dark on our planet. A perfect moment of balance that has existed from the first day of Creation. And God pronounced that it was good. I find I have to remind myself that the change in the balance of daylight and darkness, the changing of the seasons is a good thing. Don't get me wrong, I love autumn with its brightly colored leaves, crystal clear blue skies, and crisp cool mornings. I love pumpkins and squash and juicy apples and the smell of cinnamon and big, bushy pots of chrysanthemums. All the traditional symbols of autumn are beautiful it's that change in the balance of light and dark that I have trouble with.
I need light. I crave daylight the way some people crave chocolate or pregnant women crave strange things like pickles and ice cream (or so they say...I have no experience in these matters so what do I know?). So despite the fact that it was just another 90+ degree hot and dry day like most of the days that have preceeded this day, it was *not* just another day. So to counteract the dread of darkness that grabs me on this day each year I went out into my garden to commune with the flowers that have lingered despite the drought. The roses are beautiful. They are blooming with gusto, seemingly oblivious to the dark and cold that lie ahead. That's the beauty of roses-- they burst out early in May and keep on going until a hard freeze tells them to stop for awhile. And so, given adequate water and a bit of pruning and fertilizer and they are content.
Roses stick around for months, from mid-spring late into the fall, but not all flowering plants are like that. Some wait until summer is almost over before showing their true colors. The flowers in this picture are like that. These sedum grow into huge mounds of chubby green "leaves" over the course of the summer, but they are just now coming into full bloom. I love their lacy lavender heads filled with hundreds of tiny blooms. In a few weeks, the flowers will shrivel and transform into dark burgandy stems that will provide interest in the winter. Others of my flowers develop purple berries that are a feast for the birds. Neither of these things would transpire if a change in the balance between light and dark didn't occur twice each year. So long summer... it's been good sharing the light with you.