Winter has officially ended. The Spring Equinox began on 03/20/2012 at 12:14 a.m. local time. Equinoxes occur twice each year and refer to the two dates having the same length of darkness as of light. For the past several years, this blogger has celebrated the arrival of Spring at Cahokia Mounds.
This year the blogger picked up his son and headed east. Arriving in the darkness, we parked the car and followed the sidewalk to Monk's Mound.
My son said: "This sidewalk is ghostly white."
The crescent moon (approximately 3% showing) hung on the horizon. It is waning and the new moon starts on March 22. A few trees were blackly silhouetted against the sky. The sky shined with the Big Dipper, the conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, and numerous stars. Frogs croaked noisily in nearby ponds.
We climbed ten stories to the top of Monk's Mound. We followed the gravelled path to its Eastern edge. Soon, below us, three other cars pulled up. Two pairs of women joined us, one with a tom-tom and one with a ceremonial drum. The drums beat softly as we all faced East.
The sun, a majestic ball of fiery red, rose promptly at 7:04 a.m. We each greeted the dawn in our own meditative fashion. We silently rejoiced that winter was officially over and that Spring had begun!