Today, August 7, is the astronomical cross-quarter day. This is the day that we are just as close to the coming northern hemisphere Autumnal Equinox as we are to the Summer Solstice, celebrated in June. The time at which the earth is exactly half-way between the point of solstice and the point of equinox is at 18: 25 MDT.
Above is this morning's sunrise taken from the top of our driveway. I have trying to get a sunset position picture, but I have been "skunked" by the monsoon.
This is the sunrise taken from the porch. The sun rose this morning in exactly the same place as it did for the May cross-quarter.
This cross-quarter day has a number of cultural associations. In the old calendar, it is Lughnasad (often celebrated August 1 rather than on the cross-quarter day itself), which is a time to celebrate the beginning of the harvest season. It was the beginning of fall. When Christianity came to Europe, this feast became 'Lammas,' a contraction of 'loaf-mass,' the celebration and consecration of the first grain to be ground into to bread. This is also the time when "corn" dollies were made of the wheat stalks in the fields. In Spanish, the day is known as El Tiempo de la Segadora, the time of the reaper. This again commemorates the early harvest, and also denotes the height of the dry season in Mediterranian climates.
In the Jewish calendar, a lunar calendar cognate was celebrated on Tu B'Av (the 15th of the month of Av), the wine harvest, when the marriagable young women of Jerusalem would dance under the full moon in the vinyards. Dressed in borrowed white dresses, they would put vines in their hair, and entice the young men, singing:
that they may bring you worthy children."
The change of seasons is upon us and has become noticeable.
We begin to accept that there is no "endless summer."