Today, we are told, is officially the start of Spring, and it is also New Year's Day -- welcome to the year 7519 (I think).
Of course to those on the old calendar, the new year won't begin for another 13 days (14 September Gregorian), and for those who paid attention in geography lessons at school spring won't begin until the equinox on 21 September, or thereabouts.
But according to our mulberry trea, it's already been spring for a couple of weeks. It seems to sprout its new leaves on about 19/20 August every year. And that's just about when the jacarandas finish losing their leaves -- they always seem to be the last.
It's been a warm winter. It was cold for a couple of weeks during the world cup, but it's felt like spring for well over a month now.
Twenty-one years ago the Patriarch of Constantinople, Dimitrios, urged Orthodox Christians to make 1 September a day of prayer for God's creation and for the environment. You can read his message here. His successor as Patriarch, Bartholomew, has continued to encourage the practice, and as a result has been named the first among the top 15 "green" religious leaders. The day has since been adopted by other Christian bodies as well, and the first day of spring seems like an appropriate time for it.
Wednesday 1st September 2010
* Tone 5 - Week after PENTECOST 14
CHURCH NEW YEAR - DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT
- St Simeon Stylites (the Elder) (459)
- St Martha mother of St Simeon Stylites (the elder) (c 428)
- Martyr Aithalas the Persian (380)
- Holy Forty Women Martyrs and Martyr Ammon the Deacon their teacher, at Heraclea (4th)
- Righteous Joshua the Son of Nun (16th BC)
- St Fiacre, Hermit of Meaux (670)
- St Giles the Greek, Hermit and Abbot (8th)
- St Drithelm of Melrose, Monk (c 700)
Revised Julian (New Style) Calendar