'Autumn Leaves' by John Everett Millais. Image courtesy Manchester Art Gallery

Star Date: Nox and Sol, celebrating the Fall Equinox

Egremont — How about a big hand for the Equinox? Ever notice that the darkness must have already been there when the light showed up? And Genesis tells us that it is 12 hours of evening that starts off the first day, not the dawn. Seems to me that NOX used to get a bit more respect when the only competition NOX had was SOL. Now, with LEDs blasting their killer blue lights into the skies, we are losing touch with the beautiful, dark velvet cloak of evening and our starry, starry nights.

So we might not notice NOX and LUX taking a pause September 22 when they stand on the equator as equals for every person on the planet. Here in Egremont that pause occurs at 9:54 p.m. SOL starts to slide down the face of the earth again, pulling night’s curtain closer and closer around us.

Of course, we know the science now, and intellectually we know that neither LUX nor NOX succeeds in overwhelming the other in this annual dance while we celebrate our harvests and winter revels and plan next year’s summer solstice holidays, but there is always something a bit unnerving about this gradual descent into twilight. This video of “Autumn Leaves” by Yves Montand, and John Everett Millais’ “Autumn Leaves” of 1856 are perfect for the season. Four young women rake fallen leaves from the summer garden in the twilight. One holds an apple. There’s another story about the fall and an apple and the seasons we all pass through.

Enjoy the twilight.