This year, I’ve been celebrating the autumn equinox more purposefully & deliberately than other years, perhaps because with all the overtones of light and dark, and changing seasons, it resonates with my life at present. So I thought I’d share the guide that was given for our walk on the day of the equinox & some of the photos from our day.
Autumn Equinox (Multisensory) Walk
Autumn Equinox occurs when the axis of rotation of the earth (i.e. the line from the N to S poles) is exactly parallel to the direction of motion of the earth around the sun. This also then means that the length of the daylight and the length of the night-dark are approximately equal (The name is derived from the Latin aequus =equal and nox =night). After this point the nights become longer than the days, so it is a good marker for us of the move from summer into autumn.
People all over the world have marked out time passing and the circle of the year by movements of the sun like these, and a poet and musician from many hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth said this to God,
“The day is yours, and yours also the night;
you established the sun and moon.
It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth;
you made both summer and winter.” (Psalm 74)
Another such poet encourages everything that exists to praise God with everything that they have (Psalm 148) – including us.
So… on this walk we’re going to use all our senses to find things which tell us about the summer which has been (albeit soggy!) and other things which tell us about autumn coming.
EYES – look – what things remind you of summer? Or autumn? Point them out to other people so we can see what you’re looking at. If you have cameras, take pictures to share these.
NOSE – what can you smell that reminds you of summer? What smells tell you about the coming autumn? What does autumn smell of?
EARS – What sounds can you hear? Are there any birds around that come in the summer and go at this time of year? Are there any other birds that come here in the autumn and winter?
MOUTHS – Can your parents help you find some things which people can eat at this time of year? [Nobody to eat anything without an adult checking it’s not poisonous many things look similar!]
HANDS – What can you find to touch that tells you about summer and autumn? Maybe you can find one thing for each to take home (but no picking wild flowers and plants without checking – some might be special and need protecting).