March is the month that comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb according to popular sayings. Have you been cold? It's been an experience, a stormy and wet beginning to the month. Within a couple of weeks however, we look forward to the Equinox. You know, the time when the day and night are the exact same length. March 20th marks that day and it really is just around the corner. The 1st day of Spring, the time of the Vernal Equinox, or as we say Spring Equinox. A time for all things to refresh, restore and replenish.
After the Equinox, days become longer than the nights you might work in the garden and enjoy watching favorite trees bud. Perhaps you plan activities and, yes, as in my case, start thinking about the upcoming holiday season. Perhaps you reminisce about places you’ve traveled to, especially those that have special meaning for Spring.
If you have a love of places that have ancient significance and are intrigued by the people and the artifacts of ancient history, you know the beauty of the cultures that often inspire my jewelry designs.Spring is celebrated by ancient and modern people, religions and cultures. Thinking of the ancient draws me to thinking of Stonehenge and Chichen Itza. I have visited both sites, though not at a time of the equinox; Chichen Itza in 1997 and Stonehenge in 2017.I remember the romance of having been in those locations and the feelings that excite and inspire! Have you had similar experiences?
In 1997 the family took off for Mexico and visited the ruins of Chichen Itza. Having opportunity to walk among the ruins and to see the Pyramid, the observatory and the Mayan art and architecture was a phenomenal experience. The pyramid at Chichen Itza was built to the feathered-serpent god Kukulkan of the Maya. At each equinox, the serpent god, Kukulkan, appears on the stairs. The pyramid was built so that the shadow of the sun creates the image of Kukulkan and as the sun moves across the sky, the serpent appears to descend the stairs. I can imagine the people of the time watching as the serpent appears and I think how it must have moved them spiritually and emotionally. How amazing that in those times the temple was built with such precision.
Stonehenge, located in England was built over hundreds of years and also has a magical feel. Though there is great debate about the purpose of Stonehenge, one theory hypothesizes that it is a giant calendar. No matter the exact purpose, burial ground, healing site, astronomical calendar, the site allows people to mark the equinox, the solstices and other celestial events. To this day, people gather to watch as the sun rises during the equinox. Even with debate about why Stonehenge was constructed, walking among the stones one can only wonder how much effort it took to bring the stones to the site and to raise them. I enjoyed a sunrise at Stonehenge and was able to walk in an among the stones. They stand remote and lonely on the Salisbury plains of England and as you approach from the road, they rise on the horizon. Walking to the stones, I experienced a sense of their magnitude and standing among them brings a sense of awe. There is a quite in this place, a hush…
The ancients had their beliefs, customs and rituals. I think it is almost impossible to speak of Spring and not talk about our own customs. We turn our clocks to daylight savings time to enjoy our longer days. Some of us celebrate Easter and as mentioned above there are many other celebrations for this time of year. Music has been written to celebrate the season and let us not forget the fashion and design industries where Spring is also a time for all things “new”. Colors of the year are released by Pantone, models strut on the runways of London, Paris, & New York and we plant our gardens, engage in spring cleaning and begin to shed the trappings of winter.
At Arts Boheme we also celebrate the newness brought on by the season. We will release selected pieces on March 20, the first day of Spring. This year we are expanding our K2 and Kyanite collections. We are also designing with amazing artisan glass from studios in Italy, California and Arizona and from village industries in Ghana.