As I recall from my childhood, September 21st was the beginning of fall. Year after year, in an unbroken chain, September 21st was opening day for leaf burning season. Until that whole sensitivity to quality of air initiative kicked in. Now it's the beginning of Halloween.
When September 21st was the first day of fall, there was an order to things. The 21st of March was the start of spring. June 21st was the start of summer. And December 21st was the first day of winter. Every three months there was an acknowledgment of a new season. Always on the 21st. For those who preferred a more elegant transition, the moment was designated as a solstice among the cognoscenti. And people who practiced witchcraft. Or hung with the Druids at Stone Henge.
So what the heck is the beginning of fall, or if you're British, autumn, doing on Sunday the 23rd? That's two days late. Not that it matters to the weather around here. For instance, neither March 21st, 22nd or 23rd bears any resemblance to things that are springlike, if you're into birds chirping and outdoor growths that look like flowers. Around here we have snow in April.
On the other hand, by June 21st we've usually been suffering from the hot humidities for weeks. Same with September 21st. We may have the threat of cool weather for a moment or two after Labor Day, but usually it's like now -- close to ninety degrees. Actually, if we divvied up the change of seasons to reflect them more accurately, Winter would start on November 21st and end in May. Spring would start May 21st and last until May 22nd.
But I'm more concerned with what seems to be this recent trend of moving what I thought was an immovable date. I recall that the 22nd has been invoked in recent years, but I chalked that up to the inexperience and youth of our whipper snapper local weather people.
Now I realize that something more insidious must be taking place. I don't care if astronomers have decided to make a correction to accommodate the earth's rotation. Leave the 21st alone. It was good enough for my childhood; it should be good enough for a few more generations.