Eleven minutes to four o’clock in the morning, 20 March. I’m naked in the garden. It’s the exact spring equinox winter moment, the turning of winter into spring, equal sunlight and dark across the Earth. Around 4 Celsius: a handshake of cold for a few minutes, chill air on my skin, the tang of dew under my toes and wrapped in the night. Still as ever was, no sound from animal, breeze or vehicle. Would that there be an owl, a deer or fox barking. And then a robin sang, a single calm flurry of silvery notes into the silence. A moment out of, or deep into, time. The plane of our planet’s equator passing through the centre of the disc of the Sun, tipping us in the north into longer days - and towards the Austral winter in the south.
Marking these four planetary cusps between the seasons is a fine thing. It helps keep us a little more in tune with the most basic elements of our existence on this planet. It helps connect us with nature and its cycles. An opportunity to slow down and pause for a moment, to be still and watch, listen, feel. For many of us, a part of naturism is a connection with nature. A small freedom from society to embrace things that are a bit more natural.
But no need to get too serious. These four seasonal gateways - the equinoxes and the solstices - are a jolly good reason for celebration. And they have been celebrated through the mists of time, going way further back than the roots of our modern religions. People using their knowledge of nature to mark the rhythms of the seasons. A time to plant, a time to reap, a time to store, a time to look forward with hope. And how better to celebrate such things than in our most natural state - naked, of course! Perhaps with a thought, with verse, or with music. Roll on 22.42 hours for the summer solstice on the 20 June, 14.30 for the equinox on 22 September and to the turn of winter at 10.02 am on 21 December.