So it’s the 20th of March, and the internet is awash with tremulous enthusiasm, because three things are happening at once: the spring equinox, also called Ostara, whence we get a lot of secular Easter imagery (bunnies, eggs, etc); a partial solar eclipse; and a “Supermoon”, which means the moon will be passing unusually close to the earth.
Because eclipses only happen when there’s a new moon (when the moon is entirely in shadow), we won’t get the spectacular full-moon tonight that you’ve probably seen examples of in news articles about this event. But we did get an impressive 80% eclipse here in the south of England in spite of clouds, starting at 8.41am and peaking at about 9.30am, and in Scotland it was a 90% eclipse. I was (in fact, while writing, still am) in the embassy picking up my passport at the time and couldn’t see it firsthand, but never mind. I’ll enjoy the day for another reason: the Spring Equinox.
I always feel young and full of possibility in March – maybe because it’s my birthday month, but also because I really love the feeling that winter has finally been defeated. The fragile February snowdrops just don’t do it for me, I’m afraid; I want shocking purple crocuses and brash daffodils and glamorously unfurling tulips. It’s the colour explosion of spring, the reds and oranges and bright blues, that I wait for in the slowly lengthening days of January, as much as I wait for the warmth.
March hares, associated so strongly with the season, are an undeniably attractive bit of folk iconography. They predate Luna Lovegood, of course, but the connection is apt and rather sweet. While my husband slept beside me on our long commute this morning, I treated myself to a reminder of the work of stained glass artist Tamsin Abbott. From her studio in Herefordshire, she produces breathtaking, earthy paintings on beautifully coloured glass. Here’s an example:
I heartily recommend that you take a look at her website here. “The old world of Britain runs in my veins,” she says, and when you look at all of those hares, badgers, owls, and beautifully tiered rural landscapes, you feel as though you can catch a glimpse of it, too. Here’s to new beginnings, riotous colours, and longer, brighter days.