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Springtime In The Mountains

3/6/2013 1:22:46 PM

Tags: vernal equinox, Bruce McElmurray

triangle windowWhen does spring finally arrive? According to the “officially” set time it is on March 20, 2013. According to our time it may differ with that official time by a few days either way. As can be seen in the photo there is a prism contained in a cut glass pyramid hanging in our front window. For us that will indicate when spring will arrive at our mountain cabin. We bought that little gem from a vendor at a craft fair in Tallahassee, Florida, 30 years ago. At first we didn’t know what we really had but after a few years we discovered it could tell us when spring arrived here in the mountains. It hangs in our front triangular window where it is in direct alignment with the sun when spring arrives. We discovered this totally by accident but what a revelation to have finally made the connection. When it does happen I have an overwhelming desire to sing or play the song by the 5th Dimension, ‘The Age Of Aquarius‘. When the sun is just right and the earth is turned properly the sun will hit that prism and cast dozens of rainbows all over our living room. I try to contain myself from bursting out in song because that is one of those songs that when it gets in in your head it is hard to remove. It happens right around when spring first arrives and for us has been as accurate as the vernal equinox.

The vernal equinox signals the first day of spring when the day and night approximately equal each other; also, when the sun rises due East and sets due West. Our little prism takes all the guess work out of the “official” equation and in all the years we have lived here it has been a true indicator of when spring arrives at our house. When the rainbows start to appear on the ceiling, floor and walls it is simply stunning to sit and watch them float around the house as the air currents ever so slowly move the prism. The dozens of rainbows cross over objects but retain their brilliant colors. I can sit in my recliner with a cup of coffee and see the rainbows land on the dogs then slowly move on and watch them appear everywhere. It is a mesmerizing experience that only occurs for a short time each year.

We don’t need a lot of scientific equipment or even a calendar for that matter to tell us when spring arrives. Our little prism will blast us with rainbows and dazzle us with its beauty and that is plenty accurate enough for us to celebrate spring. It is the kind of experience that will burn itself into your memory and you can hardly wait for next spring to occur to witness it all over again. I have tried to get photos of the rainbows but regretfully I am unskilled with my camera and the flash diminishes the brilliance of the colors. If I can figure out my camera I will take photos to share on our personal blog site this year which is We never realized when we bought that little bauble so many years ago that it would provide us with all the beauty it has or that it was an accurate indicator of spring. “Let the sunshine in, oh yeah, let the sunshine in."

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