1 September is the 244th day of the year. 121 days remain until the end of the year. Irrelevant perhaps? What is relevant is that 1 September heralds the first day of Spring in the Southern Hemisphere.
Why is this relevant? Well in South Africa we welcome the wild flowers which have started popping up already, it signifies rebirth and a chance to start anew, refresh and reset if you will, a better life, a better you.
For me the advent of Spring means more daylight hours and more time to enjoy nature and the outdoors. To celebrate this morning I took a dip in the Indian ocean as I do every year on this day. I was not alone, Tess and Luna, our two beautiful Border Collies came along. We started with a game of ‘get the tennis ball’ which involves me hitting the ball with a tennis racket repeatedly and off they charge, Tess gets the ball, and Luna herds Tess, that’s just the way it is with them. I have never seen Luna touch a tennis ball ever unless it hits her by mistake.
It was just after sunrise and a perfect morning on the beach. The early bird gets the worm as they say, which is true because the best time of day and the finest pickings are often at dawn and the wind did indeed get up later. We were the only ones on the beach, the ONLY ones! It seemed unbelievable and we took full advantage, tearing up and down on the firm sand along the waters edge, frequently running over small breakers, and a couple of times the dogs would retrieve the ball and get caught by a wave, their eyes wide as they body surfed back onto terra firma, never letting go of the ball in Tess’ case and Luna never taking her eyes off Tess.
Other people started arriving in the car park with dogs barking and so I decided it was time for a swim and then to get the leads on the dogs. The water was lovely and warm and the sun shone it’s orange reflection on the silver-blue water with its white horses dancing towards the beach. It was shear bliss that swim. I got the dogs attached to their leads and we made our way off the beach just as a few other dogs arrived. My girls practically pulled me to the bakkie (vehicle) and I managed to get them loaded up in the back.
I retrieved my kit bag and had a quick shower before changing into running gear, watched intently by the dogs from the back of the bakkie as I did so. I had them out on their leads a minute later and we went tearing along the boardwalk off on our run, the two dogs out in front and me in tow at a bit of a gallop. Thankfully they got a bit tired and slowed down after about a kilometre or maybe it was a mile and we continued at a reasonable pace, a canter, all the way along Ocean Way to South End and back to the car. It was a magnificent run along the seaside of about eight kilometres.
The girls were happy to jump back into the bakkie and we headed home, me thinking what a magnificent outing it had been for them and for me. I couldn’t remember a better start to any day in my entire life. I’d like to think that I’ve had quite a few as good and I believe that I have. I’ve certainly had quite a few a lot worse starts, like waking up with a hangover. Yuk!
May this start to the first day of spring signify the start of many good things to come!
Remember that if you want to relieve stress and anxiety there is no better way than getting out into nature, meditating (being still and quiet) and exercise. Let’s celebrate the advent of spring by working on ourselves.
As a matter of interest, the actual start of Spring in South Africa for 2019 is in fact the 23rd of September. The season doesn’t actually start (according to nature’s calendar) until the Vernal Equinox. The date changes slightly every year and takes place when the plane (extended indefinitely in all directions) of Earth’s Equator passes through the centre of the Sun, according to thesouthafrican.com
September 1st in history
1715 – King Louis XIV of France dies after a reign of 72 years
1939 – World War II starts when Germany invades Poland by attacking the Free City of Danzig
1941 – Jews living in Germany are required to wear a yellow star of David
1945 – V-J Day, formal surrender of Japan aboard USS Missouri marks the end of WW II
1785 – Mozart publishes 6th string quartet pus 10 in Vienna