We’re a funny old breed aren’t we?Tomorrow (20th March 2012) at 5:14am, the world will enter the ever so brief annual astronomical event known as the vernal equinox. The official first day of spring; the day the sun enters the Northern Hemisphere – for those of us who live in Wales we usually have to take someone’s word for it.
It’s not an event I’ve paid too much attention to in the past, if I’m being brutally honest, and what’s the point in honesty if it’s anything less than brutal? In fact, I don’t really know what it’s all about, the whole equinox thing has passed me by down the years. Never been a big deal in my life.It has been a big deal in the lives of others though – a quick search will show that everyone from the Romans and Pagans to the Mayans, Christians and Muslims and just about every other country, culture and belief system has, within its heritage and foundations, some reference point pertaining to the vernal equinox and its autumnal counterpart, handily called the autumnal equinox.I’ll admit that astronomy is not an area of expertise for me – something perhaps of an understatement but there you go. By all accounts, the equinox is when day and night share equal billing, the day the sun passes over the celestial equator (an imaginary line in the sky that mirrors and imaginary line on earth) and the day that earth aligns itself upon its axis, as it turns out that most of the time we’re on a bit of a tilt (perhaps God didn’t know of the old sticking a folded beer mat under one corner trick).
As I said, not an area of expertise.
One thing I do know, however, is that the equinox is the day that it is claimed one can balance an egg upright.
That’s right – an egg. Upright.
Now, when I say I know this, what I of course mean is, I DON’T know this. Mainly because I’ve never tried it. The theory, as I understand it, is that gravity works differently at this time on this day. The positioning of the sun over the equator, the re-aligned axis and whatnot allows for gravity to pull exactly downwards where ordinarily it pulls slightly on an angle.
Is this true? I really shouldn’t think so. Come to think of it, I’m fairly certain I’ve seen balanced eggs on non-equinox days. But what a brilliant theory it is. A day that has been the cause of mystery, reverence, wonder and worship throughout the world, throughout the ages; we have stripped the whole thing down to whether or not we can balance an egg upright.
I therefore choose to believe it is entirely true.
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.