Equinox Celebration at Quesada Garden

By Wei Ming Dariotis

Spring Equinox: Rainy Renewal!

Neighbor Maxine Kraemer carried a basket of sunflowers, each carrying the message, “Welcome, Spring!” As neighbors joined the group, Maxine gave each one a sunflower to carry like scepters as we marched slowly up Quesada from Third Street to Newhall, inspecting the garden we share along the way.

Spring came quietly, muffled by gentle rains. We gathered intrepidly, despite an all-day drizzle, to witness together the transition between seasons. Sunday, March 20th was officially the day Winter released its hold and gave way for Spring to enter, with new growth on dead-looking twigs, spring greens everywhere, and a riot of weeds in the garden.

Rithy Chan and Sharon Bliss had hosted several “Weeding Meetings” in the weeks before we gathered, ensuring plenty of bare, freshly disturbed earth to receive the seeds we scattered. A dozen adults and kids, covered by orange and red umbrellas, flung orange California poppy and purple lupine seeds into the center median garden, each person deciding where they would like to see spring flowers emerge from the winter showers.

We finally reached the top of the hill just before 7 pm. The rain was starting to come down harder, but we stayed in a circle together just long enough to share the Winter things we wanted to let go of to make room for the Spring things we wanted to let in. We let go old ways of seeing ourselves to make room for how our bodies are now; bitterness and negativity for a more positive outlook; mourning for hope.

Some expressed a simple joy in seeing new things growing. Our newest neighbor shared a belief in having been drawn to the block purposefully to join our community. We looked around and were grateful for everyone who came out despite the rain to share an ancient ritual of renewal and rebirth with people who are in their lives just by being neighbors.

Some expressed a simple joy in seeing new things growing. Our newest neighbor shared a belief in having been drawn to the block purposefully to join our community. We looked around and were grateful for everyone who came out despite the rain to share an ancient ritual of renewal and rebirth with people who are in their lives just by being neighbors.

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