What do the calendar and the seasons tell us about time?
Posted Apr 30, 2012
In previous posts we have noted how our calendar is out of sync. October, November, and December are not the 8th, 9th, and 10th months of the year, but the 10th, 11th, and 12th months. The names no longer correspond with their meanings, which we have learned to ignore, even to repress. Never a thought crosses our mind as to why December should be the 12th and not the 10th month of the year—a commentary on our willingness to accept what we are told makes sense and is true, even if it is, on the contrary, confusing and inaccurate.
The confusion about time continues with April and April Fool’s Day, which may have something to do with the fact some Europeans continued to celebrate the New Year on April I, as opposed to January I, and were, therefore, considered fools. Celebrating the New Year in April dates back to the first Roman calendar created, supposedly, by Romulus. Some think April Fool’s Day originates with the ancient Persian tradition of celebrating the New Year and playing pranks in April. If this is the case, celebrating the New Year in April began, not with the Roman, but with a much more ancient Persian custom. The English did not celebrate the New Year on Jan.1 until 1752.
Most of the confusion about calendar time is the result of mankind’s increasing sophistication in the calculation of time: reckoning time has evolved, but not the nomenclature, which reflects the way things were, not the way they are.
Now, however, we see time changing again, this time with respect to seasonal time. This year I missed April because here, where I happen to be, she came and went before we knew she had arrived. April, associated with Venus and fertility goddesses since time immemorial, has been, until now, young, fecund, and available. This year, she was not: she fooled many farmers and me. We could continue in this morose vein to no avail, for minds are not easily changed; but I have a better idea.
No matter if you think Nature or Man is to blame for the seasons being at sixes and nines or sixes and sevens, depending on your location with respect to "the pond." I have a simple proposition inspired by Pascal’s Wager, which simply entails common sense—“prepare for the worst and expect the best.” Live your life as if Nature needs your care. If you miss this opportunity, your grandchildren may miss more than April, they may miss seasonal time as we know it.