Things might appear dark and gloomy because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the astronomical calendar couldn’t care less. The vernal equinox, when days and nights are roughly the same length, arrives tonight, March 19, at 11:50, the earliest first day of spring in 124 years.

Spring brings rebirth and rejuvenation as plants and animals emerge from their long winter’s nap or quiet time. It’s a time of renewal, rebirth and fertility. For farmers and gardeners, it’s a time for planting. It brings hope for better times to come.

Since ancient times, people around the globe have celebrated this time when the sun tips the scales against darkness. Jews celebrate Passover, Christians celebrate Easter, and world religions across the globe mark religious observations and festivals.

Even though the coronavirus has turned life upside down, and everyone must practice social distancing to prevent the present of the deadly virus, we can still go outdoors for recreation and inspiration.

Visit the Aspetuck Land Trust for a list of preserves and outdoor events, even if all inside gatherings are temporarily cancelled. 

Read more here about the astronomical calendar and why spring comes so early this year when the first day of spring is usually March 20 or 21.

Spring has sprung. Go out and enjoy it!

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By Nancy Doniger

Nancy Doniger worked as a journalist for three decades and was a founding editor of the nonprofit Easton Courier in partnership with the School of Communications, Media & the Arts at Sacred Heart University (SHU). She served two years as executive member and is now a contributing editing of the Easton Courier. She was a former managing editor of Hometown Publications and Hersam Acorn Newspapers covering Connecticut's Fairfield and New Haven counties. She was a correspondent for the Connecticut section of The New York Times from 1995 until the section was discontinued in 2006. Over the years she edited The Easton Courier, The Monroe Courier, The Bridgeport News and other community newspapers. She taught news editing as an adjunct professor at SHU and served as coordinator and member of the Community Assets Network for the Easton, Redding and Region 9 schools. She was a member of the Newtown Community Center Commission, member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), board member of the New England Newspaper and Press Association (NENPA), and past president and board member of the Barnard Club of Connecticut. She has won awards for her writing from SPJ and NENPA.