First day of spring,.
It's been a long winter. Not just here in Scandinavia but in places around the world. I am actually surprised to see the temperature meter not showing a minus in front of the Celcius indication.
In the same way that winter caught us all by surprise somewhere during early December by throwing an unexpected snowstorm party just during Lucia, the onset of spring with its brighter days and degrees of +8 degrees Celcius seems inappropriate somehow considering the large amounts of snow still piling up around us.
Here and there a bit of green grass begins to show - patches of earth that have been hidden beneath winter's powdered snowcoat.
Whereas part of me still feels this is too soon, I was only just getting used to the cold and the dark and my winter clothes were just beginning to feel comfortable, part of me rejoices in the scents and sounds presented by Mother Nature on the first day of spring.
More scientifically, this is called the Vernal (Spring) Equinox, as opposed to the Autumnal Equinox. An Equinox is when the day is about the same length as the night.
An equinox occurs twice a year, when the tilt of the Earth's axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, the Sun being vertically above a point on the Equator.
The term equinox can also be used in a broader sense, meaning the date when such a passage happens. The name "equinox" is derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night), because around the equinox, the night and day are approximately equally long.
An equinox happens each year at two specific moments in time (rather than two whole days), when there is a location on the Earth's Equator where the centre of the Sun can be observed to be vertically overhead, occurring around March 20/21 and September 22/23 each year.
For us mere mortals it means new energy, more D vitamin from the sunlight, making plans for the warm seasons of spring and summer, and clearing out our houses and gardens to get rid of the remnants of winter.
I'll be getting round to that anytime soon!