Fall (or Autumn) begins this week. Officially it starts at 9:04 UTC (3:04 AM Eastern time in the U.S.) on Friday Morning. That is the moment of the Autumnal Equinox or the point at which day and night are exactly equal. During the barbaric (pre-Christian) period of Europe and in some areas of Africa today, the Equinox (both vernal and autumnal) and the Solstice (Summer and Winter) are significant holidays. Although the Christian church did supplant the vernal equinox with Easter and the Winter Solstice with Christmas, the autumnal equinox has been left, not so much superseded, but ignored. Oh sure, some astronomy buffs may make a big deal about it, but most people do not even know that it is the true separation of summer and fall.

Science and technicalities aside, what does the transition from summer to fall actually mean? In most of the United States, school started almost a month ago. College football is already in its third week and professional football is in its second. There is still a month of baseball left. Politicians no longer wait for fall to start campaigning, you could actually say that this cycle began the day of the last presidential election. The new car models use to be released at the end of October, now they start in the spring. Halloween candy and decorations at one time went on sale at the start of fall, now they are on the shelves right after the school supplies are pulled. It seems that modern commercialism had done a better job of minimizing the importance of an old pagan holiday than the church.

Regardless of what importance Man puts on the seasonal transition, nature will continue as it always has. Nights will get longer, days will get cooler, the crops will mature. All this will happen whether there is a celebration or no, whether there is a sale or no, and whether you even notice the weatherman announce the fact of the equinox or not. Canadian geese are starting to head south. Some animals and insects will go into hibernation. All of these natural events will occur even without our acknowledgement.

I hope you do recognize this event. I am not asking anyone to participate in a pagan rite, just an observation of the beautifully cyclic dance of our world. Day to day, month to month, season to season and year to year, we get to experience miracles and spectacular displays. Take at least one opportunity to experience our world.

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Martin writes about writing in his weekly column Ramblings from Martin.

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