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** Illustration by Sara El-Yafi
And so it is now Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Today is the Spring Equinox. You don’t remember what that is, do you? The Equinox is basically when the tilt of the Earth’s axis is neither inclined away from the Sun (as in winter), nor inclined towards the Sun (as in summer), but is “equi”distant, which puts the center of the Sun in the same plane as the Earth’s equator (see my professionally drawn map). Thus, today is the only one of two days of the year where the day and night are of equal length (‘equi’), and the sun rises and sets at the same local time everywhere in the world except the poles.
And this day marks the beginning of Spring, the ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection, and regrowth. The Persian Calendar and the Indian Calendars both begin at the Spring equinox, symbol of newness and regrowth. In the Arab world, the Equinox is Mother’s Day, the mother, the symbol of birth and regrowth in all our lives. Not coincidentally do old pagan cultures and modern paganism also celebrate the fertility goddess ‘Ostara’, the eastern star, on the Spring Equinox, a goddess notably associated with the fecund symbols of the hare and egg and whose name ‘Ostara’ became the etymological ancestor of the words East and Easter… Think of it. Fertility and Resurrection. Egg and East. Rings a bell, doesn’t it? What are we celebrating ten to fifteen days from now? Easter… The resurrection of Jesus Christ. What is the symbol? The egg. Do you see how it all comes full circle? Time, religion, history, culture, ritual, they all repeat themselves, just like the cycle of the sun (charted in the graph) repeats itself diligently every year. Indeed, history and time are not sequential, no beginning, no end, but repeating itself and traveling in full circle over and over again. That is why scientists say that time is not linear, neither is change, neither is life. There is no accountable origin and no destination. We just live on in circular motion.
Whatever happens today and tomorrow and any day, know that our quests, our happiness, our endurance, our tribulations, our hopes, our fears, our selfishness and selflessness, our conquests and our dreams are no destinations, they are passages, for life and time do not know the word destination, they only know journey, circular, passing and ever moving.
Often we ask what is the point of life. And my inference here is to say that there is no point, because a point would insinuate us strolling in direction of a specific extremity, and time as we have established is not linear, nor sequential, and has no extremities. The quantum world of physics has proven to us that our world is anything but finite, fixed or linear. It is infinite, changeable and circular. In fact look at the shape of the universe, everything is circular. So living life as if there was a point, or a destination, or a goal to be found on a linear journey is antithetical to life itself. This is why there is this universal adage that encompasses all ages, all cultures, all people, and says that material possessions do not fulfill the human being. Why do you think? Because the possession is placed in a linear point in time, and life does not validate linear points.
We spend our lives pursuing points and goals, and we find out after years that we in fact haven’t lived at all… for we all ask the dreaded question, how does time fly so fast? That is because our “livelihood” is consistently tempered by a desired point that is always in a distant future, in a distant extremity, a point which by default doesn’t exist because, as I said above, life does not understand points. And so for the longest time, we don’t exist either.
But when we start embracing our lives as an ever moving motion as opposed to a point, that’s when we start to live… When we allow ourselves to feel, to emote, to be, to love, to cherish without a point, that is when we begin to feel deeply alive. It’s called becoming human…
Happy Spring Equinox. In this day that celebrates the blooming of life, my wish for mankind is for us to all come fully alive again not led by a purported point but instead led by the everlasting blooming of our humanness.