Have you given the word ‘equinox’ any thought since high school? Do you know which date it falls on? Why it’s important? What it actually is?
Wikipedia and a website called timeanddate.com state: “The equinox may be taken to mark the end of summer and the beginning of autumn (autumnal equinox) in the Northern Hemisphere, while marking the end of winter and the start of spring (vernal equinox) in the Southern Hemisphere.”
The equinox represents, symbolically, that time of the year when we either despair or jump up and down with joy. Why?
We are overjoyed because it is a period when the snow thaws, and the long sleeves end up deep within the confines of the closet, and we can finally sit in the sun and sip on our favourite drinks and take long walks in the woods, etc. This is, you guessed it, the vernal (spring) equinox.
However, there is also the autumnal (aut–, yeah, you got it) equinox. It is a time when the summer is on yet another deathbed, and the autumn approaches with its slow and steady and inevitable cold and rains. Granted, there are people who love the autumn and the cold (the author of this article is one of them), but most people still prefer summer and the warmer weather.
So, what do you do with the approach of the September Equinox?
No, really, there are things that summer-lovers can do to make the upcoming autumn more bearable. And winter. And the debilitating colds, and the flu after flu after cold after laryngitis, and endless nights that seem to envelop everything we do for the next 5 months…
Okay, stop that! This is no time to despair, nor give in to overwhelming feelings of melancholy or nihilism.
Good thing human beings invented clothing to protect them from the elements, right? This is your very first line of defence. You can always layer up, pack yourself up under a bundle of clothes that repel the frost and allow you to stay warm. Thanks to globalization, capitalism and mass-market production, clothes today are cheap. For a mere 100 quid (if you shop right) you can get yourself ready for the upcoming seasons. This needn’t be another Game of Thrones episode, and the foreboding maxim “winter is coming” needn’t be tattooed on your soul until the first sights of next spring.
The caveman, our distant ancestor, invented another beautiful way of combating heat. Fire. You can build a fireplace, make a bonfire and huddle around it, or take the modern 21st century man route – central heating. Now imagine combining this with extra layers of clothing… Bingo!
Before moving onto the positive aspects of the September Equinox, we’ll tell you how to combat one more nuisance.
In the autumn and winter people get sick more often. That’s a fact. A combination of staying indoors, lower temperatures that lower the collective immunity, and a more suitable climate for the survival of various bacteria and viruses, leads to more infections during the autumn and winter months.
However, with the help of Eastern, Western, Northern and Southern medicines, we’ve learned to combat this as well. First of all, Vitamin C is essential. Citrus fruits, Vitamin C concentrates (ascorbic acid in particular), whatever you prefer. Also, Vitamin D: the “Sun vitamin”. Seeing as days are shorter and nights longer during the autumn and winter, you will be less exposed to the sun. Vitamin D is an essential building block of your immune system – and you need lots of it. Whenever you can, go outside and catch a ray or two. Vitamin D deficiency is known to cause depressions and depressive episodes, as well as general feelings of weakness and malaise often associated with the coming of winter. It is advisable that you consume various other foods with anti-inflammatory and immunity-boosting properties: things such as garlic, curcuma, ginger…
Did you ever stop to notice the dead, tranquil, most serene calm of a winter morning? The dazzling cornucopia of autumn colours in the woods? The clear air? The blanket around your legs and a cup of cocoa in your hands and a book on your lap and a fireplace to your side, and your significant other next to you?
Even though they come with certain inconveniences, autumn and winter are gorgeous seasons. Arguably, they are far more magical and romantic than spring or summer – mind you, this is but a subjective opinion of the author. People jump at every opportunity to demonise adverse weather conditions, when they could in fact make them work in their favour. The oppressive cold and the subzero conditions and the frost and the seemingly eternal night could all be a perfect opportunity for you to spend more time indoors and read books that you wouldn’t read otherwise, travel to places that would now be free of tourists, and enjoy times of deep introspection and prolific intellectual work.
However you deem to view them, don’t fight the autumn. Nor winter. Nor dread the coming of the September Equinox.
Embrace it, as many have learned so far. This way you will never let weather affect your mood or your willingness to live life to the fullest. Also, another piece of advice that will let you brave the oh-so-dreaded Equinox and emerge from the depths of Winter unscathed, as well as a better human being – exercise. Yes, many people let themselves go during winter. Yes, you’re covered, you’re not going to the beach, no one sees your body, etc. However, exercise keeps your immunity strong, your soul vibrant, and your mind clear. Don’t dismiss it. And just imagine how strong, in shape and happy you’ll be when spring and summer finally come.
We wish you a cold-but-warm-on-the-inside winter, a glorious autumn, and a Happy September Equinox!