Spring is the time of plans and projects.
- Leo Tolstoy.
Equinox, from the Latin "aequus" meaning "equal" and "nox" meaning "night", simply means the time of year when night and day are about of equal length (sunrise was 6.04, sunset will be 18.13). In short, it is spring! The days are now getting longer! Quite possibly my favourite day of the year. For over a month the snowdrops have been out (surely the hardiest flower there is?), and here the daffodils are very close to coming into bloom, though I have seen them in bloom elsewhere. And the crocuses, they've been out at least a week now. Colour, warmth, and life, in short. The northern hemisphere is approaching "full glitter" (to use one of Ted Hughes' phrases).
Yes, I've been waiting for this day. It seems to me more 'real' than New Year's Day - I can feel the change in the air, I can see it. The lengthening days are more noticeable, and have been for the past month or so, but this is the time when the day truly is getting longer. I've missed the colours and the smells of spring. It's lovely to cosy up in the autumn and winter, but now I'm ready to be barefoot in the grass. I'm very much looking forward to planting things in the garden, meandering through the forest and streams with the hens, reading outside, as well as feeling as though things are moving forward.
In honour of this, I've decided on a new reading / writing challenge! This spring is set to be incredibly busy (and I may not have a vast amount of time for blogging - from next week I may be lucky to get out a post a week, although if I was a little bit more organised with my time it will be more), but by late spring things will have settled. By then, I hope to be a lot more focused on my Émile Zola website (not something I want to rush - it's an enjoyable process, but this winter has been so busy and at times so foul I've not managed to write anything). But, I digress. My new challenge comes from The Guardian - in their article "Who's the most significant historical figure?" they have, at the bottom, a list of 50 writers they deem most important. There's few on there I haven't read, but what I would like to do is read then write about a novel / poem / essay of each of these writers with a small paragraph on biographical detail. Here's the page where I'll link up posts.
And aside from that: I'm planning on doing a little catching up with Homer's The Odyssey for the next few days, however tonight (having just finished She by Rider Haggard - a strenuous book, perhaps I'll blog about it soon) I'm going to relax with The Warden by Anthony Trollope, which is part of the Chronicles of Barsetshire read-along with Fig and Thistle and Avid Reader's Musings, and I decided to wait until spring to start it. I have read this one (loved it), as well as the second, Barchester Towers (did not love it), but it's good to revisit those and move on to the rest.
Other spring plans: once I've finished The Odyssey, I want to re-read Ulysses by James Joyce (summer will be the season for Proust; it was going to be the other way around), and I'm very much looking forward to reading some Zola along with Fanda in April (and I urge everyone to join in!). I haven't been able to do any work on Zola and my website since early February, and although the next month or so are set to be extremely busy, I would like to return a little to Émile, with a view to returning fully to working on my website in the summer and autumn.
And speaking of autumn - I think (I think) I may perhaps finish my Classics Club list by then. I have 21 books remaining, and it would be nice to start autumn with a new list!
But first, let's see what spring brings! It's been a very good start, and I'm grateful for that (haunted by the memories of the bad start to 2014, and the horrible things that came after). It really is the time for moving forward.